School of Medicine and Health Sciences Poster Presentations

Title

Recognition and Management of Cardiac Arrhythmias: A Teaching Module for Physician Assistant Students

Document Type

Poster

Keywords

Medical Education; Electrocardiogram; Teaching Module; Cardiology; Physician Assistant Training

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Abstract

Background: Electrocardiogram (ECG) diagnosis of arrhythmias is a core skill for medical trainees. The ideal method of instruction is not yet known. Prior studies have shown that trainees fare poorly on arrhythmia recognition and often rate their training as inadequate. We assessed the efficacy of a multimodality didactic and case-based teaching module on arrhythmia diagnosis and management amongst physician assistant (PA) students.

Methods: A case-based, self-study module outlining evidence-based criteria for the diagnosis and management of cardiac arrhythmias was developed. Over 300 cases at the George Washington University Hospital were reviewed for inclusion to select 26 ECGs and telemetry events that best illustrated common supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias, atrioventricular conduction abnormalities, and arrhythmias related to common medical conditions. All arrhythmias had been confirmed by electrophysiology studies. Additional examples were compiled into a databank used to administer pre- and post-tests to 48 PA students as a prospective validation trial. After the pre-test, students received a module-based lecture and self-study module for two weeks of independent study prior to the post-test. The primary endpoint was improvement in correct diagnosis. The secondary endpoint was improvement in correct next-step management. A sample size of 42 students was needed to achieve a 90% power and type 1 error rate of 5%. The paired t-test was used to compare pre- and post-test scores.

Results: Correct diagnosis was made for 60 ± 1.9% of arrhythmias at baseline, which improved to 68 ± 1.4% on post-test (p=0.01). Correct management was identified for 46± 1.5% of arrhythmias at baseline and improved to 53 ± 1.3% on post-test (p=0.008).

Conclusion: Our results demonstrate poor baseline competency in diagnosis and management of common cardiac arrhythmias that significantly improved using our teaching module. A case and evidence-based multi-modality teaching module that incorporates didactics and independent-study improves ECG skills amongst trainees.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Open Access

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Comments

Poster to be presented at GW Annual Research Days 2017.

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Recognition and Management of Cardiac Arrhythmias: A Teaching Module for Physician Assistant Students

Background: Electrocardiogram (ECG) diagnosis of arrhythmias is a core skill for medical trainees. The ideal method of instruction is not yet known. Prior studies have shown that trainees fare poorly on arrhythmia recognition and often rate their training as inadequate. We assessed the efficacy of a multimodality didactic and case-based teaching module on arrhythmia diagnosis and management amongst physician assistant (PA) students.

Methods: A case-based, self-study module outlining evidence-based criteria for the diagnosis and management of cardiac arrhythmias was developed. Over 300 cases at the George Washington University Hospital were reviewed for inclusion to select 26 ECGs and telemetry events that best illustrated common supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias, atrioventricular conduction abnormalities, and arrhythmias related to common medical conditions. All arrhythmias had been confirmed by electrophysiology studies. Additional examples were compiled into a databank used to administer pre- and post-tests to 48 PA students as a prospective validation trial. After the pre-test, students received a module-based lecture and self-study module for two weeks of independent study prior to the post-test. The primary endpoint was improvement in correct diagnosis. The secondary endpoint was improvement in correct next-step management. A sample size of 42 students was needed to achieve a 90% power and type 1 error rate of 5%. The paired t-test was used to compare pre- and post-test scores.

Results: Correct diagnosis was made for 60 ± 1.9% of arrhythmias at baseline, which improved to 68 ± 1.4% on post-test (p=0.01). Correct management was identified for 46± 1.5% of arrhythmias at baseline and improved to 53 ± 1.3% on post-test (p=0.008).

Conclusion: Our results demonstrate poor baseline competency in diagnosis and management of common cardiac arrhythmias that significantly improved using our teaching module. A case and evidence-based multi-modality teaching module that incorporates didactics and independent-study improves ECG skills amongst trainees.