Reviewing imaging examination results with a radiologist immediately after study completion: patient preferences and assessment of feasibility in an academic department

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Radiology

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Academic Medical Centers; Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; *Communication; Data Collection; Feasibility Studies; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; *Patient Preference; *Physician-Patient Relations; *Radiology; *Tomography, X-Ray Computed; Ultrasonography




OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to assess patient preferences about receiving radiology results and reviewing the images and findings directly with a radiologist after completion of an examination.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A prospective survey of English-speaking outpatients undergoing either nononcologic CT of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis or nonobstetric ultrasound examinations was completed between December 2010 and June 2011. Responses to survey items such as preferences regarding communication of results, knowledge of a radiologist, and anxiety level before and after radiologist-patient consultation were recorded. The average wait time between the end of the imaging examination and the consultation and the duration of consultation were documented.

RESULTS: Eighty-six patients (43 men, 43 women; mean age, 52 years) underwent 37 CT and 49 ultrasound examinations). Forty-eight patients (56%) identified a radiologist as a physician who interprets images. Before imaging, 70 patients (81%) preferred hearing results from both the ordering provider and the radiologist. This percentage increased to 78 (91%) after consultation (p=0.03). Before consultation, 84 of the 86 patients (98%) indicated they would be comfortable hearing normal results or abnormal results from the person interpreting the examination; the number increased to 85 (99%) after consultation. Eighty-five patients (99%) agreed or strongly agreed that reviewing their examination findings with a radiologist was helpful. Eighty-four patients (98%) indicated they wanted the option of reviewing or always wanted to review future examination findings with a radiologist. After consultation, anxiety decreased in 41 patients (48%), increased in 13 (15%), and was unchanged in 32 (37%) (p=0.0001). The average wait for consultation and the duration of consultation were 9.9 and 10.4 minutes for CT and 1.2 and 7.1 minutes for ultrasound.

CONCLUSION: Patients prefer hearing examination results from both their ordering provider and the interpreting radiologist. Most patients find radiologist consultation beneficial. Patients are comfortable hearing results from the radiologist, with most displaying decreased anxiety after consultation.

DOI of Published Version



AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2012 Oct;199(4):844-51. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

AJR. American journal of roentgenology

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID