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

Academic Article


  • 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.
  • Published In

  • Radiology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Pahade JK; Trout AT; Zhang B; Bhambhvani P; Muse VV; Delaney LR; Zucker EJ; Pandharipande PV; Brink JA; Goske MJ
  • Start Page

  • 554
  • End Page

  • 562
  • Volume

  • 287
  • Issue

  • 2