Assessing Learning Needs and Career Attitudes of Italian Psychiatry Residents: Results from a National Survey Conducted by the Italian Society of Psychopathology Young Psychiatrists Section (SOPSI-GG)

Stefano Barlati1, °, Massimiliano Buoli2, °, Annabella Di Giorgio3, Giorgio Di Lorenzo4, Carla Gramaglia5, 11, Eleonora Gattoni5, 11, Andrea Aguglia6, 7, Alessio Maria Monteleone8, Bernardo Dell’Osso9, 10, *
1 Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy
2 Department of Psychiatry, University of Milan, Fondazione IRCCS Ca'Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico Milan, Italy
3 IRCCS "Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza", San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia, Italy
4 Department of Systems Medicine, University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Rome, Italy; Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology Unit, Department of Neurosciences, Fondazione Policlinico "Tor Vergata", Rome, Italy
5 Department of Translational Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
6 Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics Maternal and Child Health, University of Genoa, Psychiatry Unit, “IRCCS Policlinico San Martino” Hospital, Genoa, Italy
7 “Rita Levi Montalcini” Department of Neuroscience, Turin, Italy
8 Department of Psychiatry, University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", Naples, Italy
9 Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences “Luigi Sacco”, University of Milan, ASST Fatebenefratelli-Sacco, Milan, Italy
10 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
11 Institute of Psychiatry, Maggiore della Carità Hospital of Novara, Novara, Italy

Article Metrics

CrossRef Citations:
Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 3328
Abstract HTML Views: 1734
PDF Downloads: 553
ePub Downloads: 433
Total Views/Downloads: 6048
Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 2124
Abstract HTML Views: 756
PDF Downloads: 381
ePub Downloads: 275
Total Views/Downloads: 3536

Creative Commons License
© 2019 Barlati et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences “Luigi Sacco”, University of Milan, ASST Fatebenefratelli-Sacco, Milan, Italy; E-mail:°Equally contributing first authors



No data are available about learning needs and career attitudes of Italian Psychiatry Residents (IPRs). Authors aimed to assess such needs through a survey to generate insight for implementing educational programs close to IPRs’ perceived learning needs.


A 54-item questionnaire was developed in order to investigate career information, educational preference and learning needs of IPRs. A sample of 298 IPRs participated to the survey and was divided into four subgroups according to their location (North, Centre, South and Islands). The subgroups were compared through ANOVA for age and chi-square tests for qualitative variables (including gender and all sub-items of the survey), with Bonferroni post-hoc analysis.


IPRs were found to pursue, along with traditional and theoretical training, a quite practical approach, characterized by working groups, discussions on clinical cases and practical interactive sessions. The topics of major interest included: clinical psychiatry, psychopharmacology, psychiatric emergencies, communication and relationship skills (97%, 98.0%, 98.3% and 95.7% of the total sample, respectively). Indeed, a strong need for interaction with healthcare professionals emerged (97% of the total sample). North and Centre IPRs were more involved in Day Hospital activities than residents from South Italy and Islands (p<.001). South IPRs appeared to be more prone to invest for their education than residents from other areas (p<.01).


Reported findings should be taken into account as a starting point for planning and developing future targeted packages of educational proposals for IPRs and they should stand as a useful pilot study for further investigation in the field.

Keywords: Psychiatry, Residency, Education, Training, Learning needs, SOPSI-GG.