Optimizing Communication With Parents on Benefits and Radiation Risks in Pediatric Imaging

Nima Kasraie, PhDa, David Jordan, PhDb, Christopher Keup, MDa, Sjirk Westra, MD

Abstract
Effective radiation risk communication is a core competency for radiology care providers and can prevent and resolve potential conflicts while helping achieve effective public health safeguards. The authors present a synopsis of the challenges to holding such dialogue and review published methods for strengthening and maintaining this discourse. Twelve strategies are discussed in this article that can help alleviate concerns about the iatrogenic risk associated with medical imaging using radiation exposure.

Introduction
Despite improvements in protocol optimization and scanner technology to reduce exposure to children, there remains public concern about iatrogenic effects of radiation exposure. If patients or their parents are fearful of radiation exposure and have concerns reinforced by inaccurate information, there is risk for compromised patient care as access or image quality is diminished through efforts to reduce radiation dose 1, 2, 3, 4. Worse, patients may refuse appropriate diagnostic imaging tests, leading to suboptimal quality of care 3, 5.

Effective communication of benefits and risks from diagnostic imaging of adult and pediatric patients alike remains a serious concern 6, 7. Without effective dialogue between patients or their guardians and imaging professionals, [Read more…]