Survey Finds Half of Patients May Have 'Scanxiety' About Imaging Procedures

Bayer recently announced results from a global survey involving more than 1,000 patients across seven countries to assess the patient experience with MRI and/or CT procedures. The findings from the subpopulation of 162 United States patients showed that, although the majority felt informed leading up to a procedure and satisfied with the overall experience, half felt anxious. Millions of radiological procedures are performed in the US annually, helping to inform doctors' decisions and improve the quality of patient care.    

Despite feeling well informed, nearly one-quarter of the 162 US 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.

"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," says Jocelyn Rapelyea, MD, a professor and residency program director of diagnostic radiology, and associate director of breast imaging and intervention at 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 US 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, further highlighting the importance of human interaction.

"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," says Thomas Balzer, MD, head of Medical & Clinical Affairs Radiology for 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."

Bayer has created materials for both children and adults on what to expect around an MRI or CT scan, which are available on Bayer's radiology resources website.   

The 2018 international radiology patient survey was conducted by Healthcare Research Worldwide on behalf of Bayer and surveyed 1,085 patients in the US (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.

— Source: Bayer