Background and aims. Psychiatrists are often the first to be consulted in patients with anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (anti-NMDAR) encephalitis. Thus, they need to be aware of clinical features, differential diagnoses, and treatment options for this condition. In this study, we aimed to investigate the familiarity of Romanian psychiatrists with anti-NMDAR encephalitis.

Methods. We recruited psychiatrists from Romania and conducted a cross-sectional observational study by using a web-based survey.

Results. The survey was completed by 111 psychiatrists, of whom 47 (42.34%) were specialists, while 64 (57.66%) were trainees. The median length of training for specialists was ten years (interquartile range - IQR 9.5), while for trainees it was 2.5 years (IQR 3). In total, 31 (27.93%) psychiatrists encountered a case of anti-NMDAR encephalitis, with no significant difference between specialists and trainees. 31 (27.93%) psychiatrists were either unaware of the disorder or only knew its name, while 77 (69.37%) had knowledge of an outline of it. Only 3 (2.7%) psychiatrists had comprehensive knowledge of the disorder. Respondents with a higher awareness level had undergone significantly longer training (p=0.014). Unsurprisingly, having encountered a case significantly influenced awareness levels (p<0.001). There were no significant differences between specialists and trainees regarding specific knowledge about anti-NMDAR encephalitis. However, higher awareness levels and having encountered a case significantly influenced answer accuracy for questions regarding psychiatric presentation and epidemiological features.

Conclusions. Our study indicates that Romanian psychiatrists have suboptimal knowledge of anti-NMDAR encephalitis, highlighting the need for improved awareness of this disorder.


anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis, psychiatrists, Romania, surveys and questionnaires