University of Oulu

L. Ukkola, H. Kyngäs, A. Henner, H. Oikarinen, Barriers to not informing patients about radiation in connection with radiological examinations: Radiographers’ opinion, Radiography, Volume 26, Issue 2, 2020, Pages e114-e119, ISSN 1078-8174,

Barriers to not informing patients about radiation in connection with radiological examinations : radiographers’ opinion

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Author: Ukkola, L.1; Kyngäs, H.2; Henner, A.3;
Organizations: 1Master of University of Applied Sciences, Master of Health Science, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, POB 50, 90029 OYS, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Nursing Science and Health Administration, University of Oulu, Finland
3Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Finland
4Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-11-10


Introduction: In some instances, little knowledge regarding radiological examinations is provided to patients. The purpose was to investigate whether radiographers inform patients about radiation, and if not, the reasons for it.

Methods: A questionnaire was sent to radiographers working in the public sector in Northern Finland. Radiographers were asked whether they had informed patients about the radiation dose and risks during the last year. If information was not provided, the reasons for it were investigated using multiple-answer type multiple-choice questions with the option for free text responses. The results were compared between a University Hospital and other departments and between different lengths of work experience. Altogether 174/272 (64%) radiographers responded to the questionnaire; 50% were from the University Hospital and 50% from other departments.

Results: Altogether 103/174 (59%) respondents did not inform patients about the radiation dose and 93/174 (53%) did not inform them about the associated risks. Regarding a passive approach to dose information, respondents thought that the referrer had already informed the patient (49/103, 48%), information was not needed (51/103, 50%), or it might cause unnecessary fear (47/103, 46%). Reasons for a passive approach to risk information were similar (66/93, 71%; 33/93, 36%; 47/93, 51%, respectively). Regarding the results, there were no differences between the institutions or work experience levels. According to the open question, some radiographers expected patients to ask questions before informing them. Lack of time was rarely mentioned as a reason.

Conclusion: The main reasons for inadequate information were ignorance regarding responsibilities, assumption that information is not needed, and concern about causing unnecessary fear.

Implications for practice: Education, guidelines specifying responsibilities and contents for information, and easy-access digital educational material for public and professionals are needed.

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Series: Radiography
ISSN: 1078-8174
ISSN-E: 1532-2831
ISSN-L: 1078-8174
Volume: 26
Issue: 2
Pages: E114 - E119
DOI: 10.1016/j.radi.2019.12.005
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3126 Surgery, anesthesiology, intensive care, radiology
Copyright information: © 2019 The College of Radiographers. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (