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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 1133-1138

Knowledge and utilization of electrocardiogram among resident doctors in family medicine in Nigeria


1 Department of Medicine, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi, Nigeria
2 Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria
3 Department of Medicine, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Plateau, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
G C Isiguzo
Department of Medicine, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_374_16

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Background: Electrocardiogram (ECG) is a simple, readily affordable, and noninvasive tool for the evaluation of cardiac disorders. There is a dearth of information on the utility of ECG in general practice in Nigeria. We assessed the knowledge and utilization of ECG among family medicine residents in Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional evaluation was conducted between November 2011 and May 2012 in four family medicine training centers in Nigeria. A self-administered questionnaire was used to obtain information from the resident doctors regarding their ECG requests, preferred source of interpretation, most common ECG diagnosis, and update of ECG knowledge. Results: Only 61 out of 120 questionnaires (50.8%) were returned. The respondents were mostly between 31 and 40 years (54.7%) and were predominantly males (73.8%) and senior residents (65.6%). Fifty-four (88.3%) respondents made <5 ECG requests/week, and the most common indication was hypertension (50%). ECG interpretation was either self-reported (41%), by a cardiologist (26.5%), or automated reports (21.3%). Self-reporting of ECG was more common among senior residents (P < 0.01). Left ventricular hypertrophy was the most common ECG diagnosis (55.8%). About 69% of respondents did not update their knowledge of ECG. Most respondents (50%) reported basic interpretation as the aspect of ECG for which further learning was desired. Teaching ECG to resident doctors in the update courses of the postgraduate medical colleges and continuing medical education (CME) activities was adjudged the best way to improve knowledge/utility (61.1%). Conclusion: The attitude to and utility of ECG among family medicine residents in Nigeria is poor. Improved knowledge, attitude, and utilization of ECG through curriculum revision, hands-on tutorials, and CMEs are highly recommended.


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