Radiographers' assessment of referrals for CT and MR imaging using a web-based data collection tool
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionChilanga, C. C., Lysdahl, K. B., Olerud, H. M., Toomey, R. J., Cradock, A., & Rainford, L. (2020). Radiographers' assessment of referrals for CT and MR imaging using a web-based data collection tool. Radiography, 26(4), e277-e283. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2020.04.001
Introduction: There is limited research related to the radiographers' role in assessing of radiology referrals to justify imaging. This study investigated radiographers' compliance with guidelines in the assessment of CT and MRI referrals and factors that influenced their performance. Methods: This research was facilitated by the EFRS Research Hub at ECR 2019. Five radiology referral scenarios for CT and/or MRI were distributed to radiographers, as determined by their scope of practice, who volunteered at the Research Hub. A web-based data collection tool was used. The radiographers were required to determine the appropriateness of each referral, highlight any concerns and recommend suitable investigations if applicable. Linear regression analysis was used to determine whether postgraduate qualification, grade/role of the radiographer and use of guidelines influenced the radiographers' performance in assessing the referrals. Results: Participants originated from 24 countries (n = 51 CT, n = 40 MRI), the majority originating from the UK, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Norway and Austria. Responses consistent with guidelines were 58% and 57% for CT and MRI, respectively. Possession of an MSc qualification in CT was a significant factor of influence for a higher consistency with guidelines (p = 0.02) in CT. Employment as a radiographer in a lead professional role and/or educator was a significant factor of influence for a higher consistency with guidelines in MRI (p = 0.01). Conclusion: A total of 58% for CT and 57% for MRI of the radiographers' responses complied with guidelines. Factors such as postgraduate education and leading professional roles are associated with better performance. Implications for practice: Considering qualifications, experience and managerial role is vital before radiographers are delegated task of justifying CT and MR Imaging.