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A survey of radiographers' confidence and self-perceived accuracy in frontline image interpretation and their continuing educational preferences

  • Neep, Michael J.
  • Steffens, Tom
  • Owen, Rebecca
  • McPhail, Steven M.
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2014
Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive
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Introduction The provision of a written comment on traumatic abnormalities of the musculoskeletal system detected by radiographers can assist referrers and may improve patient management, but the practice has not been widely adopted outside the United Kingdom. The purpose of this study was to investigate Australian radiographers’ perceptions of their readiness for practice in a radiographer commenting system and their educational preferences in relation to two different delivery formats of image interpretation education, intensive and non-intensive. Methods A cross-sectional web-based questionnaire was implemented between August and September 2012. Participants included radiographers with experience working in emergency settings at four Australian metropolitan hospitals. Conventional descriptive statistics, frequency histograms, and thematic analysis were undertaken. A Wilcoxon signed-rank test examined whether a difference in preference ratings between intensive and non-intensive education delivery was evident. Results The questionnaire was completed by 73 radiographers (68% response rate). Radiographers reported higher confidence and self-perceived accuracy to detect traumatic abnormalities than to describe traumatic abnormalities of the musculoskeletal system. Radiographers frequently reported high desirability ratings for both the intensive and the non-intensive education delivery, no difference in desirability ratings for these two formats was evident (z = 1.66,P = 0.11). Conclusions Some Australian radiographers perceive they are not ready to practise in a frontline radiographer commenting system. Overall, radiographers indicated mixed preferences for image interpretation education delivered via intensive and non-intensive formats. Further research, preferably randomised trials, investigating the effectiveness of intensive and non-intensive education formats of image interpretation education for radiographers is warranted.


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