Neurology residents’ education in functional seizures

T. A. Milligan*, A. Yun, W. C. LaFrance, G. Baslet, B. Tolchin, J. Szaflarski, V. S.S. Wong, S. Plioplys, B. A. Dworetzky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We report a survey of neurology residency program directors (PDs) and recent neurology residency graduates about the education provided during residency on functional seizures (FS), a subtype of functional neurological disorder (FND). The purpose of our study was to assess the education gap for neurology residents about FS since patients with FS are frequently seen by neurologists, who typically conduct the evaluation and share the findings with the patient. A survey was sent to 93 Neurology residency program directors and 71 recent graduates. We obtained a low response rate of 17%. Results of the survey revealed that the most frequent settings for education on FS were within a clinical rotation in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (68.8% of PDs and 88.7% of recent graduate respondents) and via a single didactic lecture (81.3% of PDs and 80.3% of recent graduate respondents). The majority of programs did not provide a curriculum for training and feedback on best practices in communicating the diagnosis or on evidence-based treatments. Eighteen percent of neurology residents reported not learning how to communicate the diagnosis of FS to patients, while 77% responded that they were not taught about treatment. These results illustrate a curriculum gap in what neurology residents are taught about diagnosis and management of FS (and FND). We propose a standardized model that can be adapted in residencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100517
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior Reports
Volume18
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Education
  • Functional neurological disorder
  • Functional seizures
  • Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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