Knowledge of teachers regarding social anxiety disorder among school going adolescents (12 to 16 Years) in Karachi, Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Policy & Management (MSc Health Policy & Mgmt)


Community Health Sciences


Mental illnesses are rising globally. Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is the 3rd leading cause of mental illnesses. The statistics shows that mostly its symptoms start from the adolescents age group and continues later stages of the life if remains undiagnosed. School is the place where adolescents spend most of their time. Teachers can play a major role in timely identification of the Social Anxiety Disorder in adolescents. However, in Pakistan there is a dearth of evidence on SAD, specifically on assessing teacher's knowledge for SAD. To fill this gap, this study was conducted to determine and understand the level of the knowledge about SAD among school teachers in Karachi, Pakistan. Methods: The mixed method methodology was used for this study. Explanatory sequential research design was used. The first phase of the study was a quantitative cross-sectional study to determine the knowledge of teachers regarding social anxiety disorder. "Knowledge of social anxiety disorder scale (KSADS)" was used through online questionnaire. This questionnaire has 36 SAD knowledge related questions related to general knowledge, sign and symptoms and treatment. The results were analyzed through SPSS software. The second phase of the study was conducted with qualitative study through telephonic in-depth interview which enabled us to identify factors that need major importance towards the emerging issue. A self-initiative voice recording through cell phone was used. Open ended questions were asked to have different thoughts of the ideas and allow interviewee to expand their view. The codes and themes were generated from the transcribed III Knowledge of Teachers Regarding Social Anxiety Disorder Among School Going Adolescents (12 To 16 Years) in Karachi, Pakistan interview through read and re-read process. The content validity for relevance and clarity of the questionnaire was check by the experts prior to the study. The purposive sampling technique was used. School teachers were selected for our study and total sample size of 78 teachers were selected for quantitative analysis. For Qualitative, 5 school principals were selected for the in-depth telephonic interview. The nature of the study was prior explained to every participant before taking the consent. Results: Our study found that 41.6% teachers had correct general knowledge with regards to SAD, 31.3% knew sign and symptom and 28.9% had knowledge related to treatment as well. With regard to number of questions correctly responded (n=36), 19 question out of 36 received less than 30% correct responses, 13 questions received correct answers between 30-69%, whereas only 4 question received correct answers more than 70%. This gives us the evidence that teachers have less knowledge about the SAD. Teachers during qualitative interviews informed that there are cases of mental illnesses in their classes. The qualitative interviews validated that teachers have limited knowledge about signs and symptoms of SAD that hinders timely identification of SAD. Moreover, teachers did not know what to do and where to refer in case they could identify a child suffering from SAD. Teachers suggested inclusion of signs and symptoms of mental health in the teacher training curriculum. They also suggested to provide information of facilities that can be approached for the further evaluation and provision of support to such students Conclusion: The study provides evidence that that teachers at private schools have limited knowledge about SAD. This indicates that the limited knowledge of school teacher could one of the barriers of IV Knowledge of Teachers Regarding Social Anxiety Disorder Among School Going Adolescents (12 To 16 Years) in Karachi, Pakistan timely identification of SAD. One of the recommendations could be inclusion of signs and symptoms of mental illnesses in the teacher's training curriculum and for future studies, researches should be conducted to identify the knowledge of teacher related to SAD.

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