Training in psychopathology in Europe: are we doing well? A survey among early career psychiatrists

G. Sampogna, V. Del Vecchio, M. Luciano, C. De Rosa, A. Fiorillo

Department of Psychiatry, University of Naples SUN, Italy


a) to describe the current status of training on psychopathology; b) to identify the unmet needs of European residents in psychiatry; c) to suggest future perspectives of training in psychopathology.
In the period July-December 2013, the early career psychiatrists’ representatives of national associations recruited from the early career psychiatrists’ council of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) were invited to participate to an online survey. Each respondent was asked to provide the collective feedback of his/her association rather than that of any individual officer or member of their association.
Thirty-two associations returned the questionnaire out of the 41 contacted, for a response rate of 78%. According to respondents, psychopathology should aim to assess psychiatric symptoms, to understand patients’ abnormal experiences and to make nosographical l diagnoses. Karl Jaspers, Emil Kraepelin and Kurt Schneider are the most cited psychopathologists. A formal training course in psychopathology is available in 29 countries. The main teaching modalities include theoretical lessons, while workshops and role play are needed. The vast majority of residents do not receive training in psychopathological rating scales, although they tend to use them in clinical practice. Half of the sample is not satisfied with received training in psychopathology. As main problems, lack of tutor and practical training were identified. All respondents agreed that psychopathology is the core part of psychiatric curricula and that strategies should be identified to make training in psychopathology more adherent with their needs.
Psychopathology has been recognised as a core component of training curricula for psychiatrists, confirming the recent need to re-discovery psychopathology, according to the agenda proposed by international associations of young psychiatrists. Initiatives to improve training and practice of psychopathology should be addressed by national and international psychiatric organisations.

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