News | April 05, 2010

Patient Access to Imaging Exams Could Increase Anxiety

April 5, 2010 - Physicians express concern that patient access to medical imaging exams could lead to increased patient anxiety and unrealistic demands on physician time, reported a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Although the study also found patients with direct access to their imaging test results could improve patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes, patients, who may not fully comprehend the report's content, would experience increased anxiety without a physician to explaining the results and implications. They also thought that referring physicians and radiologists might experience an increased number of telephone calls from patients for clarification of report contents.

Eight radiologists and seven referring physicians participated in the study conducted at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. Researchers looked at the possibility of radiologists using the Internet to communicate rapid online imaging results directly to patients.

For more information: www.arrs.org

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