alexa Pediatricians' awareness of diagnostic medical radiation effects and doses: are the latest efforts paying off?


Journal of Medical Diagnostic Methods

Author(s): Ekiolu AS, Uner

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Abstract PURPOSE: The number of radiological exams performed on children increases each year. We assessed the current understanding of radiation doses and risks among a sample group of pediatricians and evaluated whether the latest efforts to improve radiation awareness affected the results. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A multiple-choice survey comprising 16 questions was answered by 237 pediatricians in 10 hospitals. RESULTS: Although the overall knowledge was poor, underestimation of radiation doses of common radiological procedures was significantly lower (75.2\%) than that reported in previous surveys (87\%-97\%). In contrast to previous reports, the percentage of underestimates did not increase for computed tomography (74.8\%), and residents scored (7.5±5.1) better than specialists (11.0±6.3) in estimating the radiation doses (P < 0.001). Only 3.1\% of the pediatricians had received formal education on medical radiation, and 89\% were not aware of the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle. CONCLUSION: Pediatricians' radiation dose awareness is better than it was a few years ago, and the latest educational efforts in the form of campaigns, reports, publications, and news media seem to have had a beneficial effect. The younger generation had better knowledge, possibly because they were exposed to discussions of radiation dosage at an earlier stage in their training. This article was published in Diagn Interv Radiol and referenced in Journal of Medical Diagnostic Methods

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