Knowledge of medical imaging radiation dose and risk among doctors

Brown, Nicholas and Jones, Lee (2013) Knowledge of medical imaging radiation dose and risk among doctors. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology, 57 1: 8-14. doi:10.1111/j.1754-9485.2012.02469.x

Author Brown, Nicholas
Jones, Lee
Title Knowledge of medical imaging radiation dose and risk among doctors
Journal name Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1754-9477
Publication date 2013-02-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1754-9485.2012.02469.x
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 57
Issue 1
Start page 8
End page 14
Total pages 7
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Subject 2741 Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
2730 Oncology
Formatted abstract
Introduction: The growth of computed tomography (CT) and nuclear medicine (NM) scans has revolutionised healthcare but also greatly increased population radiation doses. Overuse of diagnostic radiation is becoming a feature of medical practice, leading to possible unnecessary radiation exposures and lifetime-risks of developing cancer. Doctors across all medical specialties and experience levels were surveyed to determine their knowledge of radiation doses and potential risks associated with some diagnostic imaging.

Methods: A survey relating to knowledge and understanding of medical imaging radiation was distributed to doctors at 14 major Queensland public hospitals, as well as fellows and trainees in radiology, emergency medicine and general practice.

From 608 valid responses, only 17.3% correctly estimated the radiation dose from CT scans and almost 1 in 10 incorrectly believed that CT radiation is not associated with any increased lifetime risk of developing cancer. There is a strong inverse relationship between a clinician's experience and their knowledge of CT radiation dose and risks, even among radiologists. More than a third (35.7%) of doctors incorrectly believed that typical NM imaging either does not use ionising radiation or emits doses equal to or less than a standard chest radiograph.

Conclusion: Knowledge of CT and NM radiation doses is poor across all specialties, and there is a significant inverse relationship between experience and awareness of CT dose and risk. Despite having a poor understanding of these concepts, most doctors claim to consider them prior to requesting scans and when discussing potential risks with patients.
Keyword Computed tomography
Diagnostic imaging
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Public Health Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 17 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 14 Feb 2014, 20:37:14 EST by Lee Jones on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service