To investigate emergency clinicians’ comfort level in assessing neurological emergencies and to identify opportunities to foster enhanced training of clinical neurology in the emergency room.
University teaching hospitals and private referral centers.
One hundred and ninety-two emergency and critical care specialists and resident trainees (ECC) and 104 neurology specialists and resident trainees (NEUR) in clinical practice.
An internet-based survey was distributed via veterinary professional organizations’ listserves and message boards and responses were collected between March and April 2020. ECC completed a survey evaluating stress levels associated with neurological emergencies, confidence with neurological examinations, and neuroanatomical localization. NEUR completed a similar survey to report their perception of their ECC colleagues’ confidence in the assessment of neurological cases. Chi-square and Mann–Whitney U-tests were used to compare categorical responses and confidence scores between groups. P < 0.002 was considered significant.
Measurements and Main Results
Fifty-two percent of ECC found neurological emergencies slightly challenging, whereas 85% of NEUR found them moderately to extremely challenging for ECC (P < 0.0001). ECC’s median self-reported confidence score in performing a neurologic examination on a scale of 0–100 was 75 (interquartile range [IQR], 27), while NEUR reported a median ECC confidence of 44 (IQR, 25; P < 0.0001). Median self-reported ECC confidence in localizing intracranial, spinal, and neuromuscular disease was 67 (IQR, 40), 88 (IQR, 21), and 60 (IQR, 37), respectively, which was significantly higher than median NEUR-reported ECC confidence of 35 (IQR, 38), 51 (IQR, 31), and 18 (IQR, 20), respectively (all P < 0.0001). Following case transfer, 34% of ECC received NEUR feedback in >75% of cases.
Noticeable discrepancies between ECC and NEUR perceptions of ECC clinical confidence were seen, while no firm evidence of neurophobia could be inferred. Improvements in interdepartmental communication and teaching of clinical neurology may be warranted.
Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, EarlyView.Wiley: Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care: Table of Contents