Radiologist-patient communication of musculoskeletal ultrasonography results: a choice between added value and costs

Thomas C Kwee*, Ömer Kasalak, Derya Yakar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Literature on radiologist-patient communication of musculoskeletal ultrasonography (US) results is currently lacking.

PURPOSE: To investigate the patient's view on receiving the results from a radiologist after a musculoskeletal US examination, and the additional time required to provide such a service.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: This prospective study included 106 outpatients who underwent musculoskeletal US, and who were equally randomized to either receive or not receive the results from the radiologist directly after the examination.

RESULTS: In both randomization groups, all quality performance metrics (radiologist's friendliness, explanation, skill, concern for comfort, concern for patient questions/worries, overall rating of the examination, and likelihood of recommending the examination) received median scores of good/high to very good/very high. Patients who had received their US results from the radiologist rated the radiologist's explanation and concern for patient questions/worries as significantly higher (P = 0.009 and P = 0.002) than patients who had not. In both randomization groups, there were no significant differences between anxiety levels before and after the US examination (P = 0.222 and P = 1.000). Of the 48 responding patients, 46 (95.8%) rated a radiologist-patient discussion of US findings as important. US examinations with a radiologist-patient communication regarding US findings (median = 11.29 min) were significantly longer (P < 0.0001) than those without (median = 8.08 min).

CONCLUSION: Even without communicating musculoskeletal US results directly to patients, radiologists can still achieve high ratings from patients for their communication and empathy. Nevertheless, patient experience can be further enhanced if a radiologist adds this communication to the examination. However, this increases total examination time and therefore costs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Radiologica
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7-Oct-2021


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