Diagnostic CT: Are Patients Adequately Informed?


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.

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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.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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