Knowledge of Electromyography (EMG) among Sub-Saharan African Patients - A Pilot Survey

Author(s): Philip B. Adebayo*, Funmilola T. Taiwo, Olufemi A. Ogunremi and Mayowa O. Owolabi

Background: Electromyography (EMG) is one of the common diagnostic procedure in neurology but still scarce in sub-Saharan Africa. Objective: This cross-sectional study evaluated the knowledge of EMG among patients undergoing this procedure, considering the type, quality and reliability of the information they have. Methodology: Consecutive patients who underwent EMG for the first time between 2014 and 2016, at the WFNR/Blossom Medical Centre Ibadan, Nigeria were interviewed prior to their test. Data on patient’s demography, type of referring physicians were collated. Knowledge of EMG was also assessed. A patient was considered “informed” if she/he knew, at least, that the EMG is a test that uses an electric current or a needle, that it may be painful or cause discomfort, and that it is used to study the function of muscles and nerves. Descriptive and inferential statistics were performed to know the determinants of EMG knowledge. Result: 55 patients. 32 males and 23 females (mean ages 48.69± 18.32 and 43.30±14.88 respectively) were interviewed. Twenty-three (41.8%) patients were adjudged informed about the nature of EMG while 32 (58.2%) were uninformed about the procedure. Twenty one (38.2%) were informed about the procedure by their doctors while 4 (7.3%) got information from friends and relatives and 4 (7.3%) from the internet. Level of education was associated with being informed (p=0.039) Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed no significant predictor or EMG knowledge. Conclusion: Knowledge of EMG is poor and could be improved upon. More patient education needs to be done to prepare the patients, and allay their fears about the procedure.

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