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Doctor of Nursing Practice
Family Nurse Practioner
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sudden cardiac death, athlete, sport, screening, prevention, criteria, electrocardiogram
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Background: In order to identify athletes at risk for sudden cardiac death (SCD), comprehensive screening that includes ECG interpretation is needed. Many primary care providers, including physicians and nurse practitioners, have reservations about including electrocardiograms (ECG) in the screening process because they lack confidence in their ability to correctly identify normal variants in the ECG of an athlete.
Method: An educational program with previously validated interpretation criteria for normal variants of the athletic heart was presented to providers at a university based healthcare clinic the Northeast. A pre and post design was used to compare the accuracy of ECG interpretation.
Results: A total of 13 providers participated in the study. The educational program increased the accuracy of ECG interpretations. A significant decrease of false positive rates (from 21% +/-14 to 13% +/- 9 (p=0.013) occurred following participation in the educational course.
Conclusions: This study demonstrated the effectiveness of an education intervention in increasing the accuracy of ECG interpretation by primary care providers.