Parents whose children require diagnostic ultrasounds appreciate speaking with radiologists, and such consultations result in decreased anxiety and an increased understanding of the radiologist’s role, according to a study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology.
Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine, in California, sought to determine if radiologist-parent consultation sessions for pediatric ultrasound with immediate disclosure of examination results, if desired, increases visit satisfaction, decreases anxiety, and increases understanding of the radiologist's role.
Seventy-seven parents or guardians (55 women, 22 men) participated in the study. Their mean age was 36.8. Seventy-one of the subjects (92%) consulted with the radiologist. Randomization was not possible for consultation and non-consultation because most participants asked to speak the radiologist when they were offered the opportunity to do so.
Overall, the participants rated their experience after meeting with the radiologist as positive:
• Excellent: 56 of 70 (80%)
• Good: 13 (19%)
• Fair: 1 (1%)
The majority also rated the consultation as helpful:
• Very helpful: 55 of 71 (77%)
• Moderately helpful: 12 (17%)
• Mildly helpful: 3 (4%)
• Not helpful: 1 (1%)
Ratings regarding the interaction between participants and radiologists were also mostly positive:
• Excellent: 50 of 71 (70%)
• Good: 20 (28%)
• Poor: 1 (1%)
Demographics were not predictive of satisfaction with statistical significance in a multivariate model, the author noted. Thirty-one (41%) subjects were white, 23 (30%) were Asian, 19 (25%) were Hispanic, and three (4%) were other races. One participant did not provide this data.
The participants were better able to describe a radiologist’s role after their consultation. Before, only 46 of 68 (68%) respondents correctly described the radiologist's role, 60 (88%) were able to after consultation
“Radiologist consultation is well received among parents and associated with decreased anxiety and increased understanding of the radiologist's role,” the authors concluded. “The results of this study support the value of routine radiologist-parent interaction for pediatric ultrasound.”