Paramdeep Singh1, Simmi Aggarwal1, Amteshwar Mohan Singh Kapoor1, Rupinderjeet Kaur2, Amarpreet Kaur3
1Department of Radiology, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, Punjab, India.
2Department of Medicine Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, Punjab, India.
3Department of Pediatrics, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, Punjab, India.
Background: Exposure to radiation during radiological investigations is of health concern, which referring physicians should rationalize. Hence, we assessed the clinician’s awareness and concern of radiation exposure to patients, in relation to their referral practice. Materials and Methods: A prospective study was conducted involving specialists from Punjab (India), who were handed a standard set of questionnaire concerning knowledge of radiation hazards and doses from imaging procedures, consideration of radiation dose and age when referring, referrals not likely to affect treatment, and use of referral guidelines were included. Of the 150 medical doctors given the questionnaire, 106 returned it. Results: Majority of the clinicians underestimated radiation doses, while a few overestimated it. Almost half of the clinicians (55.5%) favored to select the rationale of asking about previous radiological examinations as clinical need only, which was surprising. Rates of referrals unlikely to affect treatment were more (66%) than reported rates in previous studies. Worryingly, only 30.1% of the clinicians had knowledge of referral guidelines and alarmingly only 10.5% had made use of it. Conclusions: Our study although in a small population size identifies inadequate knowledge on radiation and its guidelines among referral physicians, which warrants the immediate need for training programs to bridge this knowledge gap.
Keywords: Knowledge, attitude, radiation, hazards, exposure, questionnaire.