Functional neurological disorder is a feminist issue

Caoimhe McLoughlin, Ingrid Hoeritzauer, Verónica Cabreira, Selma Aybek, Caitlin Adams, Jane Alty, Harriet A. Ball, Janet Baker, Kim Bullock, Chrissie Burness, Barbara A. Dworetzky, Sara Finkelstein, Béatrice Garcin, Jeannette Gelauff, Laura H. Goldstein, Anika Jordbru, Anne-Catherine Ml Huys, Aoife Laffan, Sarah C. Lidstone, Stefanie Caroline LindenLea Ludwig, Julie Maggio, Francesca Morgante, Elizabeth Mallam, Clare Nicholson, Mary O'Neal, Suzanne O'Sullivan, Isabel Pareés, Panayiota Petrochilos, Susannah Pick, Wendy Phillips, Karin Roelofs, Rachel Newby, Biba Stanton, Cordelia Gray, Eileen M. Joyce, Marina A. J. Tijssen, Trudie Chalder, Maxanne McCormick, Paula Gardiner, Indrit Bègue, Margaret C. Tuttle, Isobel Williams, Sarah McRae, Valerie Voon, Laura McWhirter (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
63 Downloads (Pure)


Functional neurological disorder (FND) is a common and disabling disorder, often misunderstood by clinicians. Although viewed sceptically by some, FND is a diagnosis that can be made accurately, based on positive clinical signs, with clinical features that have remained stable for over 100 years. Despite some progress in the last decade, people with FND continue to suffer subtle and overt forms of discrimination by clinicians, researchers and the public. There is abundant evidence that disorders perceived as primarily affecting women are neglected in healthcare and medical research, and the course of FND mirrors this neglect. We outline the reasons why FND is a feminist issue, incorporating historical and contemporary clinical, research and social perspectives. We call for parity for FND in medical education, research and clinical service development so that people affected by FND can receive the care they need.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-862
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number10
Early online date28 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023


  • conversion disorder
  • functional neurological disorder
  • neuropsychiatry
  • somatisation disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Surgery


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