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Fam Pract ; 39(4): 656-661, 2022 07 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621600


INTRODUCTION: Lung ultrasound (LUS) has become the first diagnostic imaging approach to assess lung involvement in COVID-19. While LUS proved to be safe, reliable, and accurate, not many primary care physicians (PCP) are capable to employ this instrument in the first evaluation of COVID-19 outpatients. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a brief training program in LUS for PCP. METHODS: Italian local authorities promoted a training program in LUS for PCP engaged in COVID-19 outpatients' evaluation. The course took place in a COVID-19 unit and included a hands-on practice on real COVID-19 patients. We conducted a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the results of the training program. RESULTS: A total of 32 PCP completed the training. About 100% of participants reported an increase in competence and confidence in the use of LUS after the training. Self-reported confidence in detecting major COVID-19 LUS abnormalities was high (B-lines 8/10, pleural abnormalities 6.5/10). B-lines were accurately identified with a reliability of 81%, with a sensitivity of 96%, and a negative predictive value of 98%. Trainees were some less accurate in detecting pleural abnormalities (reliability 63%) but with a high specificity (99%). CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that a short training program, but comprising a hands-on practice, is capable to bring even almost novices to achieve a high overall accuracy and reliability in detecting lung involvement in COVID-19. This may result in a significant improvement of the performances of PCP involved in the first evaluation of COVID-19 cases in primary care facilities.

COVID-19 , Physicians, Primary Care , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Humans , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2 , Ultrasonography/methods