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Pediatr Radiol. 2006 Aug;36(8):823-32. Epub 2006 May 13.

Assessment of radiation dose awareness among pediatricians.

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  • 1Department of Diagnostic Imaging, The Hospital for Sick Children, and Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1X8, Canada. Karen.thomas@sickkids.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is increasing awareness among pediatric radiologists of the potential risks associated with ionizing radiation in medical imaging. However, it is not known whether there has been a corresponding increase in awareness among pediatricians.

OBJECTIVE:

To establish the level of awareness among pediatricians of the recent publicity on radiation risks in children, knowledge of the relative doses of radiological investigations, current practice regarding parent/patient discussions, and the sources of educational input.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Multiple-choice survey.

RESULTS:

Of 220 respondents, 105 (48%) were aware of the 2001 American Journal of Roentgenology articles on pediatric CT and radiation, though only 6% were correct in their estimate of the quoted lifetime excess cancer risk associated with radiation doses equivalent to pediatric CT. A sustained or transient increase in parent questioning regarding radiation doses had been noticed by 31%. When estimating the effective doses of various pediatric radiological investigations in chest radiograph (CXR) equivalents, 87% of all responses (and 94% of CT estimates) were underestimates. Only 15% of respondents were familiar with the ALARA principle. Only 14% of pediatricians recalled any relevant formal teaching during their specialty training. The survey response rate was 40%.

CONCLUSION:

Awareness of radiation protection issues among pediatricians is generally low, with widespread underestimation of relative doses and risks.

PMID:
16699764
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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