January 11, 2018

JACR Article Examines Coverage and Readability of Resources to Help Patients Understand Radiology Reports

Reston, VA – A new study explores which radiology glossaries provide language most easily understood by patients in radiology reports. Published online January 5 in the Journal of The American College of Radiology (JACR), this CME article* also cites which resource offers definitions most often used in radiology reports.

As medicine moves toward more patient-centered health care, patients increasingly want access to their health care information. This includes their radiology or medical imaging reports. However, these reports can often be difficult for a layperson to understand. There is a movement in radiology to address this issue.

“Resources that provide patient-oriented radiology content may help patients understand the results of their imaging procedures and preserve effective communication between health care professionals,” said study author Teresa Martin-Carreras, MD.

Researchers compared MedlinePlus, RadLex and the PORTER (Patient-Oriented Radiology Reporter) lay-language radiology glossary for their coverage of radiology reports and for the readability of their definitions.

Study authors tallied how frequently terms from MedlinePlus, RadLex and PORTER were found in 10,000 radiology reports sampled randomly from a large academic health system and compared the readability of each resource’s definitions.

“A lay-language radiology glossary can cover radiology reports adequately and offer definitions readable by average adults; such a resource may help patients and families better understand their radiology reports,” said study author Charles E. Kahn Jr, MD, MS.

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*Earn CME credits. Readers access the CME posttest directly from the JACR article via the CME posttest link (upon entering ACR login information).

About the American College of Radiology

The American College of Radiology (ACR), founded in 1924, is a professional medical society dedicated to serving patients and society by empowering radiology professionals to advance the practice, science and professions of radiological care.

To arrange an interview with any ACR member, please contact Shawn Farley at 703-648-8936 or PR@acr.org.