Neuro-11: A new questionnaire for the assessment of somatic symptom disorder in general hospitals

Silin Zeng, Yian Yu, Shan Lu, Sirui Zhang, Xiaolin Su, Ge Dang, Ying Liu, Zhili Cai, Siyan Chen, Yitao He, Xin Jiang, Chanjuan Chen, Lei Yuan, Peng Xie, Jianqing Shi, Qingshan Geng, Rafael H. Llinas, Yi Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Somatic symptom disorder (SSD) commonly presents in general hospital settings, posing challenges for healthcare professionals lacking specialised psychiatric training. The Neuro-11 Neurosis Scale (Neuro-11) offers promise in screening and evaluating psychosomatic symptoms, comprising 11 concise items across three dimensions: somatic symptoms, negative emotions and adverse events. Prior research has validated the scale's reliability, validity and theoretical framework in somatoform disorders, indicating its potential as a valuable tool for SSD screening in general hospitals. Aims This study aimed to establish the reliability, validity and threshold of the Neuro-11 by comparing it with standard questionnaires commonly used in general hospitals for assessing SSD. Through this comparative analysis, we aimed to validate the effectiveness and precision of the Neuro-11, enhancing its utility in clinical settings. Methods Between November 2020 and December 2021, data were collected from 731 patients receiving outpatient and inpatient care at Shenzhen People's Hospital in China for various physical discomforts. The patients completed multiple questionnaires, including the Neuro-11, Short Form 36 Health Survey, Patient Health Questionnaire 15 items, Hamilton Anxiety Scale and Hamilton Depression Scale. Psychiatry-trained clinicians conducted structured interviews and clinical examinations to establish a gold standard diagnosis of SSD. Results The Neuro-11 demonstrated strong content reliability and structural consistency, correlating significantly with internationally recognised and widely used questionnaires. Despite its brevity, the Neuro-11 exhibited significant correlations with other questionnaires. A test-retest analysis yielded a correlation coefficient of 1.00, Spearman-Brown coefficient of 0.64 and Cronbach's α coefficient of 0.72, indicating robust content reliability and internal consistency. Confirmatory factor analysis confirmed the validity of the three-dimensional structure (p<0.001, comparative fit index=0.94, Tucker-Lewis index=0.92, root mean square error of approximation=0.06, standardised root mean square residual=0.04). The threshold of the Neuro-11 is set at 10 points based on the maximum Youden's index from the receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. In terms of diagnostic efficacy, the Neuro-11 has an area under the curve of 0.67. Conclusions (1) The Neuro-11 demonstrates robust associations with standard questionnaires, supporting its validity. It is applicable in general hospital settings, assessing somatic symptoms, negative emotions and adverse events. (2) The Neuro-11 exhibits strong content reliability and validity, accurately capturing the intended constructs. The three-dimensional structure demonstrates robust construct validity. (3) The threshold of the Neuro-11 is set at 10 points.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere101082
JournalGeneral Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 30 2023


  • neuropsychiatry
  • neuropsychological tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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