Background There is a need for evidence-based medical education interventions, particularly for neurology in which a fear of neural sciences or neurophobia may exist. This study sought to systematically review the evidence for interventions in neurology education from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Methods A search for interventions in neurology education was performed using student/doctor evaluations, assessment results and patient outcomes as measurements of success. RCTs were retrieved using multiple sources/databases. Educational training guidelines were adapted for measuring intervention study quality with: (1) pre- and post intervention assessment of knowledge; (2) pre-and post-intervention measure of skills and attitudes or patient outcome; (3) an evaluation of the intervention and (4) evidence that the evaluation results effected appropriate action.
Results Nine RCTs were identified. 646 medical students and 909 neurologists participated. Intervention assessments favoured the intervention in five of the nine studies. Of five studies seeking evaluations, three demonstrated a preference for one or other intervention. No study fulfilled all of our quality criteria.
Conclusions There is a small but emerging evidence base for interventions in neurology education. Methodological quality requires standardisation. It is not clear from the limited literature if beneficial interventions in neurology education are mutually exclusive. There is a need for more high quality studies and future research should particularly examine strategies to prevent neurophobia in all medical graduates.
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