Paediatric CT scan usage and referrals of children to computed tomography in Germany-a cross-sectional survey of medical practice and awareness of radiation related health risks among physiciansReport as inadecuate




Paediatric CT scan usage and referrals of children to computed tomography in Germany-a cross-sectional survey of medical practice and awareness of radiation related health risks among physicians - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

BMC Health Services Research

, 12:47

First Online: 25 February 2012Received: 14 October 2011Accepted: 25 February 2012DOI: 10.1186-1472-6963-12-47

Cite this article as: Merzenich, H., Krille, L., Hammer, G. et al. BMC Health Serv Res 2012 12: 47. doi:10.1186-1472-6963-12-47

Abstract

BackgroundComputed tomography CT is a major source of ionizing radiation exposure in medical diagnostic. Compared to adults, children are supposed to be more susceptible to health risks related to radiation. The purpose of a cross-sectional survey among office-based physicians in Germany was the assessment of medical practice in paediatric CT referrals and to investigate physicians- knowledge of radiation doses and potential health risks of radiation exposure from CT in children.

MethodsA standardized questionnaire was distributed to all paediatricians and surgeons in two defined study areas. Furthermore, the study population included a random sample of general practitioners in the two areas. The questionnaire covered the frequency of referrals for paediatric CT examinations, the medical diagnoses leading to paediatric CT referrals, physicians- knowledge of radiation doses and potential health risks of radiation exposure from CT in children.

ResultsA total of 295 36.4% physicians responded. 59% of the doctors had not referred a child to CT in the past year, and approximately 30% referred only 1-5 children annually. The most frequent indications for a CT examination in children were trauma or a suspected cancer. 42% of the referrals were related to minor diagnoses or unspecific symptoms. The participants underestimated the radiation exposure due to CT and they overestimated the radiation exposure due to conventional X-ray examinations.

ConclusionsIn Germany, the frequency of referrals of children to computed tomography is moderate. The knowledge on the risks from radiation exposure among office-based physicians in our sample varied, but there was a tendency to underestimate potential CT risks. Advanced radiological training might lead to considerable amendments in terms of knowledge and practice of CT referral.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1472-6963-12-47 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Hiltrud Merzenich - Lucian Krille - Gael Hammer - Melanie Kaiser - Shunichi Yamashita - Hajo Zeeb

Source: https://link.springer.com/







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