Radiologists' role in the communication of imaging examination results to patients: Perceptions and preferences of patients

Academic Article

Abstract

  • © American Roentgen Ray Society. OBJECTIVE. It has been suggested that radiology reporting practices would be improved if radiologists were to discuss the results of an examination directly with the patient. The attitudes and preferences of patients with regard to direct communication with the radiologist are not well-defined. The purpose of this study was to survey patients about their preferred method of receiving radiologic results. MATERIALS AND METHODS. An anonymous survey was distributed to adult patients undergoing contrast-enhanced CT or MRI over a 2-week period in June 2013. RESULTS. The response rate was 58.4% (642 responses). For normal examination results, the preferred mode of communication was a telephone call from the ordering physician (34.1%); only 12% of respondents opted for a telephone call from the radiologist, and 2.6% chose a face-to-face meeting with the radiologist. For abnormal test results, the preferred mode of communication was also a telephone call from the ordering physician (49.8%); 14.4% of respondents selected a telephone call from the radiologist, and 8.3% chose a face-to-face meeting with the radiologist. Patients preferred receiving very detailed versions of radiology reports for both normal (46.4%) and abnormal (81.8%) test results. Patients also expressed a desire to have access to at least key images from their examinations. CONCLUSION. Patients prefer receiving both normal and abnormal examination results from the physicians who ordered the examination rather than the radiologist. They also prefer to receive very detailed examination results rather than a brief summary in lay terms.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Mangano MD; Rahman A; Choy G; Sahani DV; Boland GW; Gunn AJ
  • Start Page

  • 1034
  • End Page

  • 1039
  • Volume

  • 203
  • Issue

  • 5