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Background: Computed tomography (CT) is a major source of ionizing radiation exposure in medical diagnostic. Patients more exposed related to radiation are supposed to be more susceptible to health risks.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess physician’s knowledge of radiation doses and potential health risks of radiation exposure from CT.
Materials and Methods: A standardized questionnaire was distributed to physicians. The questionnaire covered the demographic data of the prescriber, the frequency of referrals for CT scan examinations, the physicians’ knowledge of radiation doses, the potential health risks of radiation exposure from CT scan and training on patients’ radiation protection. The data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Microsoft Office Excel 2007.
Results: A total of 72 physicians (55%) completed the questionnaire. Ninety nine percent of the practitioners’ prescribe CT examinations for patients during their exercises but only 10% of physicians use the guideline during CT prescriptions. Thirty eight percent of prescribers took into account the ratio benefit/risk related to x-rays during radiological exam prescription. While 4% of prescribers’ explained the risk related to x-rays to the patients during radiological exam prescription, 14% of physicians have correctly estimated the effective dose received during an abdomen pelvic scan compared to the dose of a standard chest x-ray radiograph in an adult. Fifty four percent of doctors underestimated the lifetime risk of fatal cancer attributable to a single computed tomography scan of the abdomen pelvic and 8% of practitioners have received formal training on risks to patients from radiation exposure.
Conclusion: The present study showed the limited knowledge of radiation exposure for the Physicians. Recurrent training in advanced radiation protection of patients could lead to significant improvements in knowledge and practice of CT prescribers.
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