Objectives To explore the opinion of todays neurologist and psychiatrist in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia regarding pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and outcome. It is a replication for Dutch experience with Functional Neurological symptoms Disorder (FND).
Methods A multi-centres Cross-sectional study was conducted in Saudi Arabia started from November 2019 and still ongoing. The target populations were a qualified psychiatrists or neurologists. Data were collected through an electronic questionnaire.
Results There were 70 respondents, 37.1% were female and 62.9% males. A 15.5% were Neurologists and 72.4% psychiatrists. Three questionnaires were taken out due to incompletion error. Most neurologists and psychiatrists believed that FND is a disorder of functioning of the nervous system together with psychogenic factors. However, 100% of psychiatrist believed that a prior psychological stress is a cause of the disorder (among other causes) while 86.84% of neurologists. Also found that, a 71% of patients who referred to neurologist were evaluated initially by a general practitioner, while 85% of the patients who referred to psychiatrist; were evaluated by neurologists. Eventually, most of the neurologists and the psychiatrists diagnosed patients by conversion disorder (13/38 of neurologist and 13/20 of psychiatrists).
Conclusion Our preliminary conclusion is comparable for Dutch experience that is not considered purely a psychiatric disorder and counted disordered brain functioning together with psychogenic factors responsible for FNS. However, the majority of the psychiatrists in our study diagnose FND as conversion disorder.
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