University of Oulu

Oikarinen, H.T., Perttu, A.M., Mahajan, H.M. et al. Pediatr Radiol (2019) 49: 155.

Parents’ received and expected information about their child’s radiation exposure during radiographic examinations

Saved in:
Author: Oikarinen, Heljä T.1; Perttu, Anne M.1; Mahajan, Helena M.1;
Organizations: 1Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
2Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-06-07


Background: Despite regulations, insufficient information is provided to adult patients prior to their radiologic examinations. Information regarding paediatric patients has not been systematically studied.

Objective: To survey parents’ experience and wishes for information in connection with their child’s radiographic examination.

Materials and methods: We provided a questionnaire to consenting parents of children younger than 12 years old at a university hospital. The questionnaire asked parents about the information obtained from the referrer prior to the radiograph, the chance to discuss with the referrer and their wishes regarding future information. Forty-one parents responded to the survey. Twenty-five children were referred for radiography of extremities, the others for dental, body and skull examinations.

Results: Altogether 34/41 (83%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 69–91%) parents said they received adequate information on the purpose of the examination, 8/35 (23%, 95% CI 12–39%) on other options and 3/41 (7%, 95% CI 3–19%) on radiation dose. Ten of 41 parents (24%, 95% CI 12–40%) said they were aware of radiation exposure. The number of previous radiology examinations was not sufficiently discussed. The communication was scored as mean 6.5 (95% CI 5.8–7.1) on a scale from 4 (poor) to 10 (excellent). Thirty-eight of 40 (95%, 95% CI 84–99%) of parents expected information on the purpose, 35/40 (88%, 95% CI 74–95%) on radiation dose and 31/40 (78%, 95% CI 63–88%) on other options. Symbols of radiation and corresponding period of natural background radiation are preferred to convey the dose. A referrer is the preferred source of information.

Conclusion: Parents did not feel adequately informed prior to their child’s radiographic examination. Parents expect more information about the purpose, dose and alternative tests.

see all

Series: Pediatric radiology
ISSN: 0301-0449
ISSN-E: 1432-1998
ISSN-L: 0301-0449
Volume: 49
Issue: 2
Pages: 155 - 161
DOI: 10.1007/s00247-018-4300-z
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3126 Surgery, anesthesiology, intensive care, radiology
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.