Survey: Half of patients may have ‘scanxiety’

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(PRNewsfoto/Bayer)

In honor of today’s International Day of Radiology, Bayer announced results from a global survey involving over 1,000 patients across seven countries to assess the patient experience with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and/or computerized tomography (CT) procedures. The findings from the subpopulation of 162 U.S. patients showed that although the majority felt informed leading up to a procedure and satisfied with the overall experience, half of the patients felt anxious. Millions of radiological procedures are performed in the U.S. annually, helping to inform doctor’s decisions and improve the quality of patient care. The survey is part of Bayer’s ongoing commitment to better understand and address radiology patient needs.

In addition, despite feeling well informed, nearly one-quarter of the 162 U.S. patients surveyed specifically stated more face-to-face interaction would be helpful prior to their procedure, with 15% wanting more electronic support, such as a video on the procedure. This is particularly important as properly preparing patients ahead of their imaging procedure has been shown to contribute to a better quality image, thereby aiding detection, likely because patients are more relaxed during the procedure.

“Medical imaging is critical to detecting and monitoring a variety of diseases, but patients are often nervous when they learn they need an MRI or CT scan, about the procedure itself and the results,” said Jocelyn Rapelyea, MD, professor and residency program director, diagnostic radiology, associate director, breast imaging and intervention, The George Washington University. “These findings will help radiology suites better understand their patients’ needs, help reduce anxiety and better prepare them for their procedure, which may ultimately increase image quality.”

More than three-quarters of U.S. participants said the quality of the consultation with the referring physician, radiologist and/or radiographer/radiology technician was the most important factor during their imaging experience. Additionally, only 18% of patients felt comfortable with the concept of having their image results interpreted by a computer instead of by a health care professional (HCP), further highlighting the importance of HCP interaction.

To address these gaps and help improve patient care, Bayer has created materials for children and adults on what to expect around an MRI or CT scan, which are available on Bayer’s radiology resources website.

“In a time where information can be accessed anywhere and at any time, it is perhaps not surprising that patients are also wanting more information about their imaging procedure,” said Thomas Balzer, MD, head medical & clinical affairs radiology, Bayer. “These results emphasize the role that education can play in ensuring patients feel both confident and reassured ahead of, during, and after their scan. At Bayer, we have developed support materials for both patients and radiologists with the goal of increasing this knowledge, to the benefit of all involved.”

About the survey
The 2018 international radiology patient survey was conducted by Healthcare Research Worldwide (HRW) on behalf of Bayer and surveyed 1,085 patients in the U.S. (162), Brazil (155), France (151), Italy (155), Germany (155), Japan (151) and South Korea (156). Patients were surveyed online and had undergone a CT or MRI scan within the last 12 months with or without contrast media.

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