Anxiety in patients undergoing MR imaging

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Department of Family and Community Medicine; Department of Radiology

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Anxiety; Humans; *Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Personality Inventory


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


To determine and quantify the major sources of anxiety for patients undergoing magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and to suggest means by which to eliminate or diminish their negative effects, the authors studied anxiety in 46 subjects. Of these, 20 randomly selected subjects who successfully completed the examination participated in exit interviews. Six subjects who terminated the examination before completion also completed exit interviews. Pre-imaging and postimaging questionnaires (state-trait anxiety inventory) were administered to measure anxiety in the 20 other subjects. Anxiety was associated with the constrictive dimensions of the magnet bore, examination duration, coil noise, and temperature within the bore. Preparation at the point of referral was consistently absent, incomplete, or misleading. Patients used identifiable strategies to cope with the examination: blinding, breathing relaxation techniques, visualization of pleasant images, and performance of mental exercises.


Radiology. 1989 Feb;170(2):463-6.

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