When it comes to imaging, patients want to know the basics

Patients are more concerned with the knowing the "basics" of imaging tests, according to researchers who spoke at a session held at the recent American Board of Radiology Foundation (ABRF) summit in Bethesda, Md.

As reported by AuntMinnie.com, Jay Pahade, M.D., of Yale University School of Medicine, and Andrew Trout, M.D., of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, discussed two surveys they conducted, one involving adult imaging and the other pediatric imaging. Survey respondents included members of patient advocacy groups from Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Yale Smilow Cancer Center, Yale General Hospital Group and Yale Pediatric Group.

According to Pahade and Trout, patients are less concerned with things like radiation dose, credentials and who provides them with information, and more interested in the name of the test, how they should prepare for the test, and the test results. For example, when asked who should deliver exam results, the survey respondents' first choice was knowledgeable staff, followed by the ordering doctor and then the radiologists; adults preferred to receive that information in written form.

Survey participants also were given a list of questions, and asked to rate them in order of importance, including:

  • What is the name of the test to be performed?
  • How will the test improve my care? 
  • Will my child receive a "kid-size" dose?
  • Is the doctor reading the exam certified by the American Board of Radiology? 

In both the adult and pediatric surveys, the most important questions for the respondents involved the name of the test and whether or not it would improve care. Respondents were less interested in questions about radiation dose and certification questions.

The results seem to be match the results of a study out of the University of Washington School of Medicine published in JAMA Internal Medicine in February, in which researchers determined that most patients lacked of knowledge of medical radiation exposure, and believed it was more important to figure out what was wrong with them than to worry about radiation from imaging tests.

To learn more:
- see the article in AuntMinnie.com
- read about the study on patient knowledge about medical radiation

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