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McNierney-Moore A, Smith C, Guardiola JH, Xu KT, Richman P. (2015) Patient understanding of radiation risk from medical computed tomography - A comparison of Hispanic vs. Non-Hispanic Emergency Department populations. PeerJ PrePrints3:e993v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.993v1
Background: Cultural differences and language barriers may adversely impact patients with respect to understanding the risks/benefits of medical testing. Objective: We hypothesized that there would be no difference in Hispanic vs. non-Hispanic patients’ knowledge of radiation risk that results from CT of the abdomen/pelvis (CTAP). Methods: We enrolled a convenience sample of adults at an inner-city ED. Patients provided written answers to rate agreement on a 10-point scale for two correct statements comparing radiation exposure equality between: CTAP and 5 years of background radiation (question 1); CTAP and 200 chest x-rays (question 3). Patients also rated their agreement that multiple CT scans increase the lifetime cancer risk (question 2). Scores of > 8 were considered good knowledge. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to estimate the independent effect of the Hispanic variable. Results: 600 patients in the study group; 63% Hispanic, mean age 39.2 +/- 13.9 years. Hispanics and non-Hispanics whites were similar with respect to good knowledge-level answers to question 1 (17.3 vs 15.1%; OR=1.2; 95 % CI=0.74- 2.0), question 2 (31.2 vs. 39.3%; OR=0.76; 95% CI=0.54 - 1.1), and question 3 (15.2 vs. 16.5%; OR =1.1; 95% CI= 0.66 - 1.8). Compared to patients who earned < $20,000, patients with income > $40,000 were more likely to answer question 2 with good knowledge (OR =1.96; 95% CI=1.2 – 3.1). Conclusion: The study group’s overall knowledge of radiation risk was poor, but we did not find significant differences between Hispanic vs. non-Hispanic patients.
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