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PORT06 Neurophobia and undergraduate neurology training
  1. J A Giles,
  2. A Kirby
  1. The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to james.giles{at}


Neurophobia is fear of the neural sciences and clinical neurology in medical students. This study examined the influence of clinical neuroscience training (CNT) on Neurophobia and the role of anxiety, to inform curriculum planning. A prospective cohort study was performed using questionnaires (n=163) administered at a neurology lecture before and after CNT. Questions, based on previous research, assessed students' reported interest, knowledge, skills, confidence and perceived difficulty in a range of specialities. The State Trait Anxiety Inventory was used to measure anxiety. Comparative analyses were performed to examine how perceptions of neurology differed from other specialities, and changes before and after CNT. Correlation was examined between perceptions of neurology and anxiety. Before training neurology was ranked most difficult (p<0.001*) and most interesting (p=0.002*). After training, neurology was reported as less difficult (p=0.006*) but still more difficult than other specialities (p<0.001*). Self-reported knowledge and confidence in neurology increased after training (p<0.001*) but remained lower than other specialities (p=0.006*). There were significant negative correlations between anxiety and some aspects of neurophobia, which remained after training (*Wilcoxon). Neurophobia was present before neurology training. Training has potential to reduce neurophobia but did not eliminate it. Earlier educational intervention may be warranted to prevent neurophobia.

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