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J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2013 Feb;57(1):38-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-9485.2012.02471.x. Epub 2012 Nov 5.

Assessing local patients' knowledge and awareness of radiation dose and risks associated with medical imaging: a questionnaire study.

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1
Medical and Geriatric Department, Kwong Wah Hospital, Hong Kong.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

To assess the awareness of radiation dose and associated risks caused by radiological procedures among local patients.

METHODS:

All subjects were recruited by randomly sampling the patients receiving radiological examinations. These subjects were stratified on age, sex and education. The questionnaire was in Chinese and consisted of 28 questions mostly in multiple choice/true-or-false format, divided into three sections examining demographic data, radiation knowledge/awareness and expectations.

RESULTS:

A total of 173 questionnaires were returned (83 females and 84 females; mean age of 53). Of these, 32.6% had attended college, 32.6% had completed matriculation and 24.4% secondary school. Most subjects underwent CT (75), MRI (70) and PET-CT (18). Education significantly affected the radiation knowledge (P = 0.013). 60.7% and 32.7% were not aware of the radiation-free nature of MRI and USG, respectively. Respectively, 45.4% and 43.5% were of the misconception that Barium enema and Barium swallow studies do not involve radiation. Moreover, 77.6% and 87.9% were aware of the radiation-laden nature of CT and plain X-rays, respectively. Furthermore, 34% and 50%, respectively, think that they are not exposed to radiation at home and on a plane. Regarding the fatal cancer risk from CT, 17.8% chose the correct answer and 62% underestimated the risk. 32.2% correctly estimated the equivalent dose of CT in terms of number of conventional X-rays and 43.2% underestimated the dose. Most (98.2%) were told of the indication, and 42.7% were told the associated radiation dose.

CONCLUSION:

Patient radiation awareness is unsatisfactory. There is need to increase patient radiation awareness, and to provide them with the necessary information.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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