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Diagnostic CT: Are Patients Adequately Informed?

DOI: 10.4236/act.2012.11001    4,812 Downloads   9,548 Views   Citations


AIM: CT scanning is a widely utilised effective diagnostic tool. We aimed to establish whether patients are adequately informed prior to undergoing CT investigations. Methods: All adult patients with mental capacity attending the department for a CT study over a week period were invited to fill out a brief questionnaire prior to their scan. Results: 57 patients returned completed questionnaires. Overall 23% of patients were unsure or incorrect about the type of scan scheduled. Of patients attending with a new condition, 46% of them did not know their provisional diagnosis. Only 32 % of patients had insight into how a CT scan worked. This was taken to mean that the patient had included some reference to either x-rays, radiation or cross sectional imaging. Only 23% of patients were aware of potential complications of CT scans. Conclusion: Although written consent prior to CT scan is probably a step too far in providing patients with relevant risks/benefits of their investigation, we propose all patients undergoing CT have prior access to a written information sheet should they wish to be further informed regarding their procedure.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Coyne, J., Brent, A. and O’Farrell, E. (2012) Diagnostic CT: Are Patients Adequately Informed?. Advances in Computed Tomography, 1, 1-4. doi: 10.4236/act.2012.11001.


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