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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 94-97

Availability and utilization of electrocardiogram as cardiac diagnostic tool in private hospitals in Port Harcourt

Department of Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Chibuike Eze Nwafor
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njc.njc_8_18

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Background: Electrocardiography is a low cost, easy to perform method of investigation of the cardiovascular system with diagnostic and prognostic value, and great clinical usefulness. There is an increasing prevalence of cardiovascular disease in Africa and other developing nations of the world. The private hospitals serve as the first port of call to a large number of cardiac patients. Hence, they need to determine the availability and utilization of electrocardiogram (ECG) in the private hospitals. Methodology: This is a cross-sectional, descriptive study involving medical practitioners who offer medical services in the private hospitals in Port Harcourt. A structured self-administered questionnaire was used in this study with a total of 120 analyzable data generated. Results: In this study, 72.5% of the respondents were male with females constituting 27.5%. Most of the respondents were general practitioners and mostly < 10 years of medical practice. This study found that approximately two-third of the respondents had ECG facility in their practice with good utilization (83.2%). However, most of the respondents (60%) have no formal training in the interpretation of ECG with only 6.2% having competence in ECG interpretation, and only 15.6% would seek specialist opinion/interpretation. This study further found that 98.3% of the respondents expressed willingness for formal training to improve their ECG interpretation skills. Conclusion: There are good availability and utilization of ECG facilities among private practitioners in Port Harcourt. The knowledge and competence for interpretation of ECG are poor. There is, therefore, a need for formal training in ECG interpretation for general and private medical practitioners in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

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