In a recent survey, patients with spinal conditions substantially underestimated the radiation dose of computed tomography (CT) scans, and more than three-fourths mistakenly believed that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are associated with radiation exposure. The findings were reported in the March issue of The Spine Journal.
“These findings indicate a deficiency in patient knowledge regarding the risks of their care,” said senior author Kern Singh, MD, Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Co-Director of the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago. “Physicians have a duty of nonmaleficence, or doing no harm to the patient. This includes properly educating patients so that they can make appropriate decisions regarding their care. The results of this study suggest that physicians should spend more time educating patients regarding the risks and benefits of the medical interventions that they are receiving.”