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Background. Biological effects of exposure to ionizing radiation (IR) are well known. Literature suggests most patients and physicians lack proficient understanding of risks associated with ionizing radiation. Our study goals were to: assess the extent to which productive, informed conversations regarding ionizing radiation are occurring between patients and providers; characterize public awareness of medical imaging procedures as sources of IR exposure; and investigate best practices in patientprovider communications.

Methods. We developed and administered a 17-question survey to 303 adults at five locations across Chittenden County, Vermont, over a 6-week period in fall 2016. Descriptive and statistical analyses were conducted using SPSS.

Results. The three age groups of respondents had different knowledge levels about ionizing radiation (p

Conclusions/Recommendations. 1. A standard oral presentation for pre-imaging patient-provider communication, along with a written handout, be developed; 2. A section of the electronic medical record (also accessible through the patient portal) containing IR exposure be created for patients and physicians to track individuals' information.


Razelle Hoffman-Contois

Vermont Department of Health

William Irwin

Vermont Department of Health

Jan Carney

The University of Vermont


Vermont Department of Health


Environmental Health, Medical Product Safety

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Public Awareness of Medical Imaging as a Source of Ionizing Radiation Exposure