There is limited information on the utility of electrocardiogram (ECG) in General practice in Nigeria. We assessed the knowledge, attitude and utility of ECG among Nigerian Family Medicine residents.Design and Method:
A cross-sectional evaluation was conducted in four Family Medicine training centres in Nigeria. Using a self-administered questionnaire information on the resident doctor's ECG requests, preferred source of interpretation, most common ECG diagnosis and update of ECG knowledge were obtained.Results:
Only 61 out of 120 questionnaires (50.8%) were returned. The respondents were mostly between 31–40 years (54.7%); predominantly males (73.8%) and senior residents (65.6%). Fifty four (88.3%) made <5 ECG requests/week and the commonest indication was hypertension (50%). Their ECG interpretation was mostly self-reported (41%), followed by cardiologist (26.5%) or automated reports (21.3%). Self-reporting of ECG was commoner among senior residents (p < 0.01). Left ventricular hypertrophy was the commonest ECG diagnosis (55.8%). Majority (69%) did not update their ECG knowledge. Half of them desired further learning on basic ECG interpretation. Teaching ECG in updates/contious medical education (CMEs) was adjudged the best way to improve knowledge/utility (61.1%).Conclusions:
The attitude and utility of ECG among Family Medicine residents in Nigeria is poor. Improvement through curriculum revision, hands-on tutorials and CMEs is highly recommended.