NeuroQ: A neurophobia screening tool assesses how roleplay challenges neurophobia

Published:January 20, 2021DOI:


      • Neurophobia is a fear of neuroscience and neurology.
      • Neurophobia starts in pre-clinical years in medical school.
      • NeuroQ questionnaire is a validated tool to measure neurophobia in medical students and the effect of a teaching intervention.
      • The Move neurology teaching program improves neurophobia.



      Neurophobia is a chronic disease of medical students and junior doctors. Early detection is needed to facilitate prevention and management as this fear can negatively impact patient care.


      We conducted a two-part mono-centric study at the faculty of Medicine, Sorbonne University, in Paris. Part one: a cross-sectional study to validate a newly constructed neurophobia scale, NeuroQ. Part two: a prospective longitudinal study to assess the impact of The Move on student neurophobia using NeuroQ. A population-based sample of second-year medical students of the 2019 and 2020 class of the Faculty of Medicine of Sorbonne University were invited to participate.


      NeuroQ incorporates the main themes of the neurophobia definition and demonstrates uni-dimensionality. Three hundred and ninety-five medical students participated in the study (mean age was 20.0 years, SD: 2.1 years) assessing the effect of The Move teaching on neurophobia. Two hundred and eighty-eight (72.9%) students were female. After the Move teaching the mean NeuroQ score was significantly lower compared to the baseline NeuroQ score (mean [SD] variation, −1.1 [2.6], p < 0.001). There was a 22.3% relative reduction in the number of neurophobic students after The Move teaching.


      Our results highlight the utility of NeuroQ in assessing (i) baseline neurophobia and (ii) the impact of pre-clinical educational interventions on neurophobia. Furthermore, we have shown the importance of pre-clinical educational interventions, such as The Move, in tackling neurophobia.


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      Linked Article

      • Assessing neurophobia: A good move
        Journal of the Neurological SciencesVol. 421
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          Recently, medical education has been considered an emerging subspeciality within neurology [1]. Teaching is an exciting and rewarding activity, especially in such an interesting field. However, medical educators in neurology face a specific challenge: neurophobia.
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