Patients know little about interventional radiology

August 1, 2007

Most patients referred to an interventional radiology procedure are unaware what the field is or may offer, according to a study by Canadian researchers.

Most patients referred to an interventional radiology procedure are unaware what the field is or may offer, according to a study by Canadian researchers.

Investigators led by Dr. Mark O. Baerlocher, a radiologist at the University of Toronto, assessed public awareness of interventional radiology in a survey of 100 consecutive patients referred for a procedure. They found that only 6% understood what interventional radiologists do (J Vasc Interv Radiol 2007;18:633-637).

Before their arrival in the interventional radiology department, 87% 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 none could describe radiofrequency ablation. Diagnostic radiology did not fare much better. Only 28% expressed an understanding about how radiologists fit in healthcare practice.