A survey was undertaken to ascertain if doctors working in psychiatry knew when to perform electrocardiograms (ECGs) prior to and during psychiatric treatments where indicated, and to investigate the training, confidence and ability of doctors in ECG interpretation. Half had received no training in the indications for performing an ECG. Opinion differed widely as to when to perform an ECG, with 54% stating an ECG was required before treatment with pimozide and only 19% and 11% stating ECGs were required during the course of treatment with pimozide and high dose antipsychotic medication respectively.
Ability in ECG interpretation correlated negatively with time spent in psychiatry but no correlation existed between grade and ability to identify an ECG as normal or abnormal.
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