Radiographer reporting of neurological magnetic resonance imaging examinations of the head and cervical spine: findings of an accredited postgraduate programme

Piper, K., Pittock, L. and Woznitza, N. (2018) Radiographer reporting of neurological magnetic resonance imaging examinations of the head and cervical spine: findings of an accredited postgraduate programme. Radiography. ISSN 1078-8174.

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Abstract

Introduction
To analyse the objective structured examination (OSE) results of the first cohorts of radiographers (n = 13) who successfully completed an accredited postgraduate programme in clinical reporting of neurological magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations of the head and cervical spine.

Methods
Forty MRI examinations were used in the OSE which included a range of abnormal cases (prevalence of abnormal examinations approximated 50%) and included: haemorrhage, infarction, demyelination disease, abscess, mass lesions (metastatic deposits, meningioma, glioma, astrocytoma); and disc disease, cord compression, stenosis, ligament rupture, syringomyelia appearances on patients referred from a range of referral sources. Normal variants and incidental findings were also included. True/false positive and negative fractions were used to mark the responses which were also scored for agreement with the previously agreed expected answers based on agreement between three consultant radiologists' reports.

Results
The mean sensitivity, specificity and agreement rates for all head and cervical spine investigations (n = 520) combined were 98.86%, 98.08% and 88.37%, respectively. The highest scoring cases were cases which included astrocytoma, disc protrusion with cord compression and glioma. The most common errors were related to syringomyelia, ligament rupture and vertebral fracture.

Conclusions
These OSE results suggest that in an academic setting, and following an accredited postgraduate education programme, this group of radiographers has the ability to correctly identify normal MRI examinations of the head/cervical spine and are able to provide a report on the abnormal appearances to a high standard. Further work is required to confirm the clinical application of these findings.

Highlights
•Following accredited training, radiographers can report MRI examinations of the head or cervical spine to a high standard.
•The accuracy of the radiographers' reports is similar to rates in other MRI reporting studies of the lumbar spine or knee.
•Radiographers in an academic setting, can report to a similar standard to non-specialised consultant radiologists.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Radiographer reporting; advanced practice; magnetic resonance imaging; neurological imaging; observer performance
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Wellbeing > School of Allied Health Professions
Depositing User: Nick Woznitza
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2018 08:55
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2018 18:45
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/17419

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00