Half of Parents in Study on Pediatric CT Did Not Know Risks
A cross-sectional survey of 742 parents of children with head injuries being treated in Canadian emergency departments found that 52% said they did not know that a CT scan could increase their child’s risk of developing cancer at a later date. The researchers from τhe Hospital for Sick Children at the University of Toronto, and Alberta Children's Hospital and Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute at University of Calgary also examined if being informed about CT risks changed the parents’ willingness to proceed with the imaging test. Before the parents were informed about risk, 90,4% of the parents said they were “very willing/willing” to proceed with head CT. After the risk disclosure, willingness decreased to 69.6% (P < .0001), and 42 (5.6%) said they would refuse the CT. For radiologists who have been at the forefront of the Image Gently campaign that seeks to reduce radiation doses and better inform parents, it is notable that the researchers also found that 673 (90.3%) of the parents said they wanted to be informed about the risks involved with a CT scan for their child. The study was published online on July 8, 2013 in Pediatrics. Read the abstract here.