11. tbl. 109. árg. 2023

Psychedelics and treatment of mental disorders: A survey of attitudes and knowledge among psychiatrists, general practitioners and psychologists in Iceland

Hugvíkkandi efni og meðhöndlun geðraskana á Íslandi: Þekking og viðhorf geðlækna, heimilislækna og sálfræðinga


Ragnar P. Ólafsson1

Karól Kvaran1

Kristín Ketilsdóttir1

Kolbrún Hallgrímsdóttir1

Emil L. Sigurðsson2,3

Engilbert Sigurðsson2,4

1Faculty of Psychology, University of Iceland, 2Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, 3Development Centre for Primary Healthcare in Iceland, 4Landspitali University Hospital, Mental Health Services, Reykjavík.

Correspondence: Ragnar P. Ólafsson, ragnarpo@hi.is

Key words: psychedelics, attitude, survey, psychiatrists, general practitioners, psychologists.

INTRODUCTION: Interest in the use of psychedelics has increased following reports of their possible therapeutic potential. However, little is known about the knowledge of and attitudes towards the substances among health care professional who provide treatment for mental disorders in Iceland. An online survey was therefore conducted among members of the Icelandic associations of psychiatrists, general practitioners and psychologists.

METHODS: Respondents were 256 in total, including 177 psychologists, 38 psychiatrists and 41 general practitioners that provided information on their background, type of work, knowledge of and attitude towards different types of psychedelic substances and their views on optimal service delivery if psychedelics were approved by licencing authorities and used for treatment.

RESULTS: Around half of psychiatrists reported having received questions about treatment with psychedelics in their clinical work, compared to only 14,6% of general practitioners and 17,5% of psychologists. The majority of respondents had little, or no knowledge of the substances targeted in the survey. A majority also expressed negative attitudes towards treatment with psilocybin mushrooms, but was positive towards ongoing scientific research and felt that such a treatment should be prescribed and provided by psychiatrists. Moreover, the majority view was that psilocybin treatment should be provided in specialised clinics or psychiatric units in a hospital setting. Scientific articles on the topic, discussions with colleagues and information in the media were identified as having had most influence on respondents´ attitudes towards psychedelics. Most respondents were interested in further education on psychedelics.

CONCLUSIONS: Respondents among these three professions felt that the time has not yet come to use psychedelics in the treatment of mental disorders in Iceland but thought more education on psychedelics, their potential efficacy and adverse health effects is important given the increased interest in psychedelics.


Þetta vefsvæði byggir á Eplica