Study Examines Coverage and Readability of Resources for Understanding Radiology Reports

A new study explores which radiology glossaries provide language most easily understood by patients in radiology reports. Published online in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, the article also cites which resource offers definitions most often used in radiology reports.

As medicine moves toward more patient-centered health care, patients increasingly want access to their health care information. This includes their radiology or medical imaging reports. However, these reports can often be difficult for a layperson to understand. There is a movement in radiology to address this issue.

"Resources that provide patient-oriented radiology content may help patients understand the results of their imaging procedures and preserve effective communication between health care professionals," says study author Teresa Martin-Carreras, MD.

Researchers compared MedlinePlus, RadLex, and the PORTER (Patient-Oriented Radiology Reporter) lay-language radiology glossary for their coverage of radiology reports and for the readability of their definitions. The study authors tallied how frequently terms from MedlinePlus, RadLex, and PORTER were found in 10,000 radiology reports sampled randomly from a large academic health system and compared the readability of each resource's definitions.

"A lay-language radiology glossary can cover radiology reports adequately and offer definitions readable by average adults; such a resource may help patients and families better understand their radiology reports," says study author Charles E. Kahn Jr, MD, MS.

Source: ACR