Complete written/oral information about dose exposure in CT: is it really useful to guarantee the patients’ awareness about radiation risks?
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Aims and objectives
According to the European directive 2013/59/Euratom, starting from February 2018, the information relating to patient exposure will be part of computed tomography (CT) reports, but the impact of this information on patients has not been deeply evaluated. Aim of our study was to evaluate patients’ perception of radiation exposure related to routine CT and their understanding after communication of their dose exposure.
Materials and methods
A survey, investigating patient’s knowledge of radiation dose, was given to all adult patients (> 18 years) undergoing a CT examination both before and after CT scan. The first survey was the same for all patients. After CT scan, a second questionnaire was administered (after receiving the CT dose bill report and medical written and/or explanation about ionizing radiation risk). Results of the pre- and post-CT questionnaires responses were compared according to demographics characteristics and among the four post-CT groups.
For some questions, statistically significant differences were found between the two centres. Seventy per cent of the patients answered that the presence of CT parameters in the report is considered useful. Even if not always statistically significant there was a slight increase in awareness of ionizing radiation risk comparing the pre- and post-CT surveys. The group that had both written and oral explanations had a better comprehension of CT dose bill (group III vs. I, p = 0.002).
The way of communication of ionizing radiation risks did not affect the results of the post-CT survey. Indeed, the interest in the topic did not rise in the post-CT survey in any of the group. Adequate information about ionizing radiation risks provided together with dose exposure information may be useful. However, there is not a standardized better way of communicating information on ionizing radiation risks due to CT.
KeywordsRadiation dose Dose bill Ionizing radiation risk Questionnaire Computed tomography
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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