Physicians' knowledge and attitudes in Saudi Arabia regarding implantable cardiac defibrillators
Abstract Objectives To evaluate knowledge and attitude of physicians involved in the management of patients with heart failure regarding implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). Methods We conducted personal interviews with physicians involved in treating patients with heart failure. Between October 2015 and February 2016, the study was conducted in hospitals in the Riyadh region where no cardiac electrophysiology service was available. Every participant was met in person and received an oral questionnaire that aimed to assess basic knowledge regarding ICD indications and benefits. Results Sixty-three physicians were met from 13 hospitals (14 consultants and 49 specialists). Forty-one percent of participants use the recommended cut-off level of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) which is ≤35% as the LVEF criterion for ICD referral in patients with cardiomyopathy. Only 50% of the consultants use ≤35% as the LVEF criterion for ICD referral. Seventy percent of the participants thought that ICD may improve heart failure symptoms. Forty-eight percent of physicians have a defined channel to refer patients to higher centers for ICD implant. There was no statistically significant difference between physicians’ knowledge when we categorized them according to three different factors: (1) physician’s specialty (cardiology vs. internal medicine); (2) physician’s degree (consultant vs. specialist); and (3) physician’s location (inside vs. outside Riyadh city). Conclusion There is a lack of knowledge of current clinical guidelines regarding ICD implantation for patients with heart failure at general hospitals in Saudi Arabia. This finding highlights the need to improve the dissemination of guidelines to practitioners involved in managing patients with heart failure in an effort to improve ICD utilization.
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