Development and Evaluation of an Innovative Neurology E-learning Didactic Curriculum for Psychiatry Residents

Acad Psychiatry. 2023 Jun;47(3):237-244. doi: 10.1007/s40596-023-01769-7. Epub 2023 Mar 14.


Objective: This article describes the development, implementation, and piloting of an e-learning neuropsychiatry curriculum for psychiatry residents. The primary outcome of interest was feasibility. Secondary outcomes were interest and confidence caring for patients with neuropsychiatric disorders, and knowledge about neuropsychiatry.

Methods: The curriculum was designed utilizing Kern's six-step framework. A ten-module, interactive, primarily vignette-based e-learning curriculum was developed focusing on the neurocognitive exam and neurocognitive disorders. The curriculum was piloted in two psychiatry residencies in Brooklyn, NY (n = 80 residents). The curriculum was evaluated using a survey adapted from the General Practitioner Attitudes and Confidence Scale for Dementia (GPACS-D) and a 24-item neuropsychiatry examination prior to the intervention and 1-month post-intervention. Qualitative feedback was acquired through four open-ended items in the post-curriculum survey, which underwent a thematic analysis.

Results: Seventy-eight of eighty residents completed the full curriculum. Three of nine attitude items demonstrated significant differences, with residents feeling less frustrated managing dementia (pre-mean = 2.32, post = 2.68, t(2,59) = 2.00, p = 0.004), less frustrated due to not knowing how to effectively treat dementia (pre-mean = 2.05, post = 2.95, t(2,59) = 6.27, p = 0.000), and demonstrating less interest in pursuing further training in neuropsychiatry (pre-mean = 1.95, post = 2.18, t(2,59) = 1.70, p = 0.047), though still overall showing interest. There was no change in confidence ratings. There was a small but significant improvement in total number of knowledge items answered correctly.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated the feasibility of implementing an e-learning neuropsychiatry curriculum. It also demonstrated an improvement in resident responses to two attitude items and an increase in neuropsychiatry knowledge.

Keywords: Curriculum development; E-learning; Neurology; Neuropsychiatry; Psychiatry; Residency.

MeSH terms

  • Computer-Assisted Instruction*
  • Curriculum
  • Dementia* / diagnosis
  • Dementia* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Neurology* / education
  • Neuropsychiatry* / education