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Radiology. 2018 May;287(2):554-562. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2017170592. Epub 2018 Feb 13.

What Patients Want to Know about Imaging Examinations: A Multiinstitutional U.S. Survey in Adult and Pediatric Teaching Hospitals on Patient Preferences for Receiving Information before Radiologic Examinations.

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From the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar St, New Haven, Conn 06520 (J.K.P.); Department of Radiology (A.T.T., M.J.G.) and Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology (B.Z.), Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio; Department of Radiology, Division of Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Ala (P.B.); Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass (V.V.M., J.A.B.); Department of Radiology, Indiana University, Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, Ind (L.R.D.); Department of Radiology, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif (E.J.Z.); Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, MGH Institute for Technology Assessment, Boston, Mass (P.V.P.).


Purpose To identify what information patients and parents or caregivers found useful before an imaging examination, from whom they preferred to receive information, and how those preferences related to patient-specific variables including demographics and prior radiologic examinations. Materials and Methods A 24-item survey was distributed at three pediatric and three adult hospitals between January and May 2015. The χ2 or Fisher exact test (categorical variables) and one-way analysis of variance or two-sample t test (continuous variables) were used for comparisons. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine associations between responses and demographics. Results Of 1742 surveys, 1542 (89%) were returned (381 partial, 1161 completed). Mean respondent age was 46.2 years ± 16.8 (standard deviation), with respondents more frequently female (1025 of 1506, 68%) and Caucasian (1132 of 1504, 75%). Overall, 78% (1117 of 1438) reported receiving information about their examination most commonly from the ordering provider (824 of 1292, 64%), who was also the most preferred source (1005 of 1388, 72%). Scheduled magnetic resonance (MR) imaging or nuclear medicine examinations (P < .001 vs other examination types) and increasing education (P = .008) were associated with higher rates of receiving information. Half of respondents (757 of 1452, 52%) sought information themselves. The highest importance scores for pre-examination information (Likert scale ≥4) was most frequently assigned to information on examination preparation and least frequently assigned to whether an alternative radiation-free examination could be used (74% vs 54%; P < .001). Conclusion Delivery of pre-examination information for radiologic examinations is suboptimal, with half of all patients and caregivers seeking information on their own. Ordering providers are the predominant and preferred source of examination-related information, with respondents placing highest importance on information related to examination preparation. © RSNA, 2018 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

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