Istituto di Informatica e Telematica     
Kraft G., Carpeggiani C., Caramella D., Semelka R., Picano E. Radioprotection (un)awareness in cardiologists, and how to improve it. In: International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging, vol. 27 (2011) pp. 1 - 6. Springer, 2011.
In 2010 the International Atomic Energy Agency launched the "3 A's campaign": Audit, Appropriateness and Awareness for radiological justification, which is an effective tool for cancer prevention. Cardiologists prescribe the majority of radiological testing, but their awareness of doses and risks of ionizing cardiac imaging test is low. To assess radioprotection awareness of prescribing and practicing physicians (mainly cardiologists) before and after a radioprotection course. We held a 1-day 6-h primer of radioprotection for a limited number (20-35) of physicians. The course offered 8 continuing education credits from the Italian Health Ministry and was held 9 times over 3 years. We had 425 attendees, but full data sets (with complete questionnaires) were available for 403 physicians (55% women, age 45 6 years), including 55% cardiologists, 40% general practitioners, 5% others (mainly cardiology fellows). For each attendee, a radiological awareness score was obtained before and after the course, with a survey containing 10 multiple-choice questions (5 answers) on radioprotection basics (doses of common examinations in multiples of chest x-rays; associated cancer risk, etc.). Each answer was scored from 0 ("don't know"), 1 ("strongly disagree") to 4 ("strongly agree"). The radiological awareness score of the 403 attendees improved from 31 3 (before) to 37 2 (after training, P < 0.001 vs. pre-training). As an example, before training, 25% of attendees believed that radiation-induced cancer risk disappears after 6 months (10% of respondents), 12 months (8%) or 5 years (7%), whereas 75% (becoming 98% after training) correctly estimated that radiological damage is cumulative over one's lifetime. Awareness of radiological doses and risks, albeit essential for risk-benefit assessment of radiological testing, is suboptimal among cardiologists, but can dramatically improve with a limited teaching effort through targeted training.
DOI: 10.1007/s10554-011-9937-8
Subject Radioprotection awareness

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