open access

Vol 53, No 1 (2019)
Research papers
Published online: 2019-01-04
Submitted: 2018-11-06
Accepted: 2018-11-06
Get Citation

Attitudes towards neurology among medical undergraduates

Anna Pokryszko-Dragan, John Mottershead, Gill Aitken
DOI: 10.5603/PJNNS.a2018.0004
·
Pubmed: 30614518
·
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2019;53(1):61-73.

open access

Vol 53, No 1 (2019)
Research papers
Published online: 2019-01-04
Submitted: 2018-11-06
Accepted: 2018-11-06

Abstract

Diseases of the nervous system are an important contributor to clinical and social problems. Therefore there is a need to provide undergraduates and postgraduates of medical faculties with adequate training in neurology. However, many shortcomings have been observed in this field, often associated with students’ negative perception of neurology. The aim of this study was to explore attitudes towards neurology amongst undergraduates of the medical faculty at Wroclaw Medical University, and the reasons for these attitudes. As a qualitative component of the study, a focus group discussion was conducted with six fifth year undergraduates. The findings of the focus group and a literature search informed the content of a questionnaire distributed among fifth year students of the medical faculty, including non-Poles attending English Division. The responses to the closed questions were analysed quantitatively and subjected to statistical analysis while the free text comments were analysed qualitatively. Triangulation of the findings from the focus group and the survey was performed. 134 Polish students and 75 English-speaking ones responded to the survey. The majority of participants perceived neurology to be interesting and important for medical education, and it was highly ranked as a potential future speciality. The majority of the survey respondents regarded neurology as difficult and mentioned specific drawbacks. In spite of similar general perceptions of neurology, Polish and English- -speaking students differed in their perceptions of particular aspects, conditioned by diversity in cultural backgrounds and earlier experiences associated with neurology. The course in neurology affected attitudes towards the subject more than preceding experiences, mostly in a positive manner. The fifth year medical undergraduates expressed mostly positive attitudes towards neurology. Cultural background and the course in neurology were the main factors contributing to attitudes in these students.

Abstract

Diseases of the nervous system are an important contributor to clinical and social problems. Therefore there is a need to provide undergraduates and postgraduates of medical faculties with adequate training in neurology. However, many shortcomings have been observed in this field, often associated with students’ negative perception of neurology. The aim of this study was to explore attitudes towards neurology amongst undergraduates of the medical faculty at Wroclaw Medical University, and the reasons for these attitudes. As a qualitative component of the study, a focus group discussion was conducted with six fifth year undergraduates. The findings of the focus group and a literature search informed the content of a questionnaire distributed among fifth year students of the medical faculty, including non-Poles attending English Division. The responses to the closed questions were analysed quantitatively and subjected to statistical analysis while the free text comments were analysed qualitatively. Triangulation of the findings from the focus group and the survey was performed. 134 Polish students and 75 English-speaking ones responded to the survey. The majority of participants perceived neurology to be interesting and important for medical education, and it was highly ranked as a potential future speciality. The majority of the survey respondents regarded neurology as difficult and mentioned specific drawbacks. In spite of similar general perceptions of neurology, Polish and English- -speaking students differed in their perceptions of particular aspects, conditioned by diversity in cultural backgrounds and earlier experiences associated with neurology. The course in neurology affected attitudes towards the subject more than preceding experiences, mostly in a positive manner. The fifth year medical undergraduates expressed mostly positive attitudes towards neurology. Cultural background and the course in neurology were the main factors contributing to attitudes in these students.

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Keywords

neurology, undergraduates, attitudes, neurophobia

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About this article
Title

Attitudes towards neurology among medical undergraduates

Journal

Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska

Issue

Vol 53, No 1 (2019)

Pages

61-73

Published online

2019-01-04

DOI

10.5603/PJNNS.a2018.0004

Pubmed

30614518

Bibliographic record

Neurol Neurochir Pol 2019;53(1):61-73.

Keywords

neurology
undergraduates
attitudes
neurophobia

Authors

Anna Pokryszko-Dragan
John Mottershead
Gill Aitken

References (24)
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