Interventional radiology flies under patients' radar

September 1, 2007

Interventional radiologists need more public exposure, according to a study by Canadian researchers. Dr. Mark O. Baerlocher, a radiologist at the University of Toronto, and colleagues assessed public knowledge about interventional radiology by passing a survey among 100 consecutive patients referred for an interventional radiology procedure.

Interventional radiologists need more public exposure, according to a study by Canadian researchers. Dr. Mark O. Baerlocher, a radiologist at the University of Toronto, and colleagues assessed public knowledge about interventional radiology by passing a survey among 100 consecutive patients referred for an interventional radiology procedure. They found that only 6% understood what interventional radiologists do (J Vasc Interv Radiol 2007; 18:633-637).

Before their arrival in the IR department, 87% of patients had had no knowledge of IR. About 82% had heard about angioplasty, however. Four percent were aware of vertebroplasty, 3% had heard about uterine artery embolization, and nobody could describe radiofrequency ablation. Diagnostic radiology did not fare much better. Only 28% of patients understood the role radiologists play in healthcare.