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J Child Health Care. 2015 Sep;19(3):359-69. doi: 10.1177/1367493513518374. Epub 2014 Jan 31.

Children having magnetic resonance imaging: A preparatory storybook and audio/visual media are preferable to anesthesia or deep sedation.

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Lund University, Sweden
Lund University, Sweden.


As a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination lasts about 45 minutes and as the technique is sensitive to motion, children are often given sedation or anesthesia. The aim of this study was to examine whether children aged three to nine years could undergo MRI while awake and achieve adequate image quality if age-adjusted routines were used. A two-group controlled experimental design was used. Thirty-six children were assigned to a control group and underwent MRI with the prevalent routines. Thirty-three children were assigned to an intervention group and underwent the MRI while awake. The age-adjusted routine included a booklet and a story book, a model of the MRI scanner with the MRI sound, and a DVD film during the examination. In the control group, 30 children underwent the examination under anesthesia and 6 underwent the examination while they were awake. All had acceptable examinations. In the intervention group, 33 children had their examination while awake and 30 of them had acceptable examinations. The parents' satisfaction with the care was assessed to be equal or higher in the intervention group and the costs were calculated to be lower. Thus, many children receiving age-appropriate preparation and distraction can undergo MRI examinations while awake.


Cancer; MRI; care; education; preparation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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