Patients lack information about imaging examsFebruary 13, 2018
OAK BROOK, Ill. - Patients and their caregivers desire information about upcoming imaging examinations, but many are not getting it, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology. The researchers found that half of all patients and caregivers end up seeking information on their own.
As medicine shifts to an era of patient-centered care, much of the efforts in radiology have focused on communicating the results of imaging tests to patients. Less attention has been paid to engaging patients prior to and during the examination, said study lead author Jay K. Pahade, M.D., an associate professor of radiology at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.
To find out more about this often-overlooked aspect of care, in early 2015 Dr. Pahade and colleagues surveyed patients and caregivers at three pediatric and three adult hospitals across the U.S. Questions focused on patient and caregiver preferences for receiving imaging test information before an exam and what type of information they found most useful.
Overall, 1,117 of 1,438 respondents, or 78 percent, reported receiving information about their examination.
"This means one in five people are showing up for the exam without any information about the test they are getting," Dr. Pahade said. "This is an important finding in today's health care system, where we want more patient engagement and involvement."
Ordering providers were the predominant and preferred source of examination-related information. For pre-examination information, respondents placed the highest importance on information about examination preparation and the lowest importance on whether an alternative radiation-free examination could be used. In the pediatric hospitals, respondents -- typically parents -- placed an even higher value on pre-examination information.
"These results show that what we as radiologists think patients value is not necessarily what they actually value," Dr. Pahade said. "Our study found that patients value basic information related to the test more than information related to the radiation dose, so we should probably shift our focus to providing that."
Dr. Pahade noted that a lack of information can have a dramatically negative effect on the patient's experience. Anxiety is known to be higher among uninformed patients, he said.
"In the radiology realm, we need to take more ownership over the entire imaging process," he said. "One big gap has been in the pre-imaging part of that process, and the data show we have work to do in closing that gap."
Half of respondents reported seeking information themselves. Connecting patients with already existing resources is an easy and cost-effective way to ensure that they are well-informed, Dr. Pahade noted. At Yale, appointment reminders sent to patients now include, along with the examination time and location, links to pertinent information on RadiologyInfo.org, an online resource for medical imaging, jointly sponsored by RSNA and the American College of Radiology. Dr. Pahade joined the committee that reviews the site after the survey was completed.
RadiologyInfo.org tells patients how various X-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, radiation therapy and other procedures are performed. It addresses what patients may experience and how to prepare for their exams. The website contains over 230 procedure and disease descriptions covering diagnostic and interventional radiology, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy and radiation safety in English and Spanish. It also offers videos of radiologists explaining common imaging exams.
"We need to increase visibility of sites that provide some of this information," Dr. Pahade said. "Half of our studied population stated they tried to find information on their own, but there was very little use of radiology-created sites like RadiologyInfo.org that can serve as a great resource."
Radiology is edited by David A. Bluemke, M.D., Ph.D., University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wis., and owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc.
RSNA is an association of over 54,200 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists promoting excellence in patient care and health care delivery through education, research and technologic innovation. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org)
For patient-friendly information on medical imaging exams, visit RadiologyInfo.org.
Radiological Society of North America
Related Radiation Therapy Articles:
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators report finding finding how appropriately timed radiation therapy can significantly improve the delivery of cancer nanomedicines by attracting macrophages to tumor blood vessels, which results in a transient 'burst' of nanoencapsulated drugs from capillaries into the tumor.
The researchers are able to use the radiosensitivity index within a mathematical framework to select the optimum radiotherapy dose for each patient based on their individual tumor biology.
Childhood cancer survivors are living longer. Now research shows they are also less likely to develop second cancers while still young.
A new study shows that repeated radiation therapy used to target tumors in the brain may not be as safe to healthy brain cells as previously assumed.
Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have found that a set of easily measurable risk factors can predict the magnitude of survival benefit offered by radiation therapy following breast cancer surgery.
Nearly two-thirds of US women age 70 or older with stage I breast cancer who undergo lumpectomy and are eligible to safely omit subsequent radiation therapy according to national cancer guidelines still receive this treatment, according to new study results.
An antiscarring paste when applied to the skin of mice halts fibrosis caused by the radiation used in cancer therapy.
The characteristic blue glow from a nuclear reactor is present in radiation therapy, too.
Therapy dogs may improve the emotional well-being of some cancer patients, according to results of a clinical study, the first to document the benefits of animal-assisted therapy in adult cancer patients.
Among men undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer, daily use of the erectile dysfunction drug tadalafil, compared with placebo, did not prevent loss of erectile function, according to a study in the April 2 issue of JAMA.
Related Radiation Therapy Reading:
Radiation Therapy (Quick Study Academic)
by Inc. BarCharts (Author)
Radiation therapy (RT) is a dynamic but complex medical profession. Our comprehensive 3-panel (6-page) guide will make it all easy to understand, including the differences between RT and x-ray tech. All key aspects of RT―from basic radiophysics and radiobiology to radiotherapy safety and procedures―are covered in-depth, with up-to-date information that is enhanced by useful charts, tables and images of cutting-edge equipment. Each section features “The Tech Knows” summary of critical points, set off graphically for easy reference. View Details
Principles and Practice of Radiation Therapy, 4e
by Charles M. Washington MBA RT(T) FASRT (Author), Dennis T. Leaver MS RT(R)(T) FASRT (Author)
The only radiation therapy text written by radiation therapists, Principles and Practice of Radiation Therapy, 4th Edition helps you understand cancer management and improve clinical techniques for delivering doses of radiation. A problem-based approach makes it easy to apply principles to treatment planning and delivery. New to this edition are updates on current equipment, procedures, and treatment planning. Written by radiation therapy experts Charles Washington and Dennis Leaver, this comprehensive text will be useful throughout your radiation therapy courses and... View Details
Mosby’s Radiation Therapy Study Guide and Exam Review (Print w/Access Code), 1e
by Leia Levy MAdEd(Masters in Adult Education) RT(T) (Author)
Reinforce your understanding of radiation therapy and prepare for the Registry exam! Mosby's Radiation Therapy Study Guide and Exam Review is both a study companion for Principles and Practice of Radiation Therapy, by Charles Washington and Dennis Leaver, and a superior review for the certification exam offered by the American Registry for Radiologic Technology (ARRT). An easy-to-read format simplifies study by presenting information in concise bullets and tables. Over 1,000 review questions are included in the book, with an additional 1,000 questions available online on... View Details
Radiation Therapy Essentials: Board Preparation Tool
by Anne Marie Vann (Author)
Radiation Therapy Essentials is intended as a refresher for those preparing for board certification or recertification in the field of radiation oncology. Outline format brings key points to the forefront. Examples and diagrams are provided for easy recognition and clarification of the topic. Over 200 practice questions and answers are included. View Details
Khan's The Physics of Radiation Therapy
by Faiz M. Khan PhD (Author), John P. Gibbons PhD (Author)
Expand your understanding of the physics and practical clinical applications of advanced radiation therapy technologies with Khan's The Physics of Radiation Therapy, 5th edition, the book that set the standard in the field. This classic full-color text helps the entire radiation therapy team—radiation oncologists, medical physicists, dosimetrists, and radiation therapists—develop a thorough understanding of 3D conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT), stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), high dose-rate remote afterloaders (HDR), intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image-guided radiation... View Details
Radiation Therapy Planning
by Gunilla C. Bentel (Author)
A Doody's Core Title for 2011!All new expanded edition provides step-by-step guidelines on performing the technical aspects of radiation therapy. Important new coverage includes treatment preparation, 3-D treatment planning, dosimetry, new technologies, documentation, and quality assurance. In addition, you'll find added treatment planning guidelines by body region, and an expanded art program including many new 4-color illustrations. View Details
Radiation Therapy Study Guide: A Radiation Therapist's Review
by Amy Heath (Author)
This book is a comprehensive review and study aid for radiation therapists. Organized in a question-and-answer format, it present clinical features and principles of treatment. Topics include radiation therapy physics, radiobiology, treatment and simulation equipment, principles of patient care, clinical components of cancer care, and cancers of the brain, head and neck region, and respiratory, digestive, urinary, and male and female reproductive systems. It offers over 500 multiple-choice questions with detailed answers and rationales. Radiation Therapy Study Guide is a valuable... View Details
The Physics & Technology of Radiation Therapy
by Patrick N. McDermott (Author), Colin G. Orton (Author)
This book is the outgrowth of a course taught to residents in radiation oncology at Wayne State University, at the suggestion of residents who saw a need for a technically accurate text set at the correct mathematical level. It is intended to be a book to learn from, not a comprehensive compendium. It is written for members of the radiation therapy community such as radiation therapy technologists, dosimetrists, and radiation oncologists who may have taken college physics several years previously but still need to know the basic physics of radiation therapy. For graduate students in medical... View Details
The Physics of Radiation Therapy
by Faiz M. Khan PhD (Author)
Dr. Khan's classic textbook on radiation oncology physics is now in its thoroughly revised and updated Fourth Edition. It provides the entire radiation therapy team—radiation oncologists, medical physicists, dosimetrists, and radiation therapists—with a thorough understanding of the physics and practical clinical applications of advanced radiation therapy technologies, including 3D-CRT, stereotactic radiotherapy, HDR, IMRT, IGRT, and proton beam therapy. These technologies are discussed along with the physical concepts underlying treatment planning, treatment delivery, and... View Details
Confessions of a Radiation Oncologist: What you don't know about Cancer and Radiation Therapy.
by MD Bobby N. Koneru (Author), Alla Zarifyan (Editor), Carolyn Wittstone (Editor)
CONFESSIONS OF A RADIATION ONCOLOGIST: What You Don't Know About Cancer and Radiation Therapy. An Illustrated Guide for Patients. BOOK HIGHLIGHTS: Starting with how radiation therapy works, Confessions of a Radiation Oncologist informs patients of what to expect before, during and after treatment. Special attention is paid to radiation therapy for different kinds of cancers, empowering patients with the knowledge they need about the specific cancer they are fighting. Patients will find a whole host of resources at their fingertips including: (1) Detailed infographics that explain clearly,... View Details