Published online Mar 26, 2021. doi: 10.4330/wjc.v13.i3.42
Peer-review started: October 19, 2020
First decision: December 1, 2020
Revised: December 3, 2020
Accepted: January 13, 2021
Article in press: January 13, 2021
Published online: March 26, 2021
Prolongation of the QT interval is associated with adverse cardiac events specifically Torsades de pointes (TdP). There are multiple mediations that have a known, possible, or conditional risk for prolonged QT interval, but general practitioners’ knowledge of these medications is unknown. We conducted a survey to assess internal medicine (IM) providers’ knowledge of risk factors and medications associated with prolonged QT as well as provider experience and comfort when treating patients with prolonged QT. A 17-question, anonymous survey was constructed in 2019 and distributed to IM providers and residents at a tertiary care center. Questions included demographic information, 6 Likert-scale questions gauging provider experience with prolonged QT, and 10 multiple choice clinical vignettes to assess clinical knowledge. Data was analyzed descriptively. Knowledge was assessed via clinical vignettes and compared by level of training. Forty-one responses were received out of a total of 87 possible respondents (47.1% response rate). About 70% of respondents see patients with acquired prolonged QT once monthly or more. 95% rarely see congenital prolonged QT. When presented with QTc drug issues, 73% of providers seldom or sometimes consulted pharmacy, but about half used online resources. The average correct score on the clinical vignettes was 5.59/10, with the highest scores seen in attending physicians in their first five years of practice (6.96/10). Our survey suggests that IM providers commonly encounter QT prolonging drugs. Educational efforts to improve knowledge of drug and patient risk factors for TdP may be needed.
Core Tip: Knowledge of drugs that prolong the QTc interval and patient risk factors varies significantly among internal medicine physicians and trainees.