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Assessment of the Usefulness of a Diagnostic Test: A Survey of Patient Preference for Diagnostic Techniques in the Evaluation of Intestinal Inflammation

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Assessment of the Usefulness of a Diagnostic Test: A Survey of Patient Preference for Diagnostic Techniques in the Evaluation of Intestinal Inflammation

R L Nelson et al. BMC Med Res Methodol.

Abstract

Background: In order to assess the usefulness of radiolabeled white cell scanning in the diagnosis of intestinal inflammation, subjects were asked to rank several dimensions of preference for white cell scanning in relation to other diagnostic tests. Two groups were surveyed: one known to have inflammatory bowel disease and the second not familiar in most cases with the tests. Subjects were asked to rank preference for each of seven tests: radiolabeled white cell scan, colonoscopy, barium enema, sigmoidoscopy, enteroclysis, stool analysis and laparotomy for the diagnosis of IBD and impressions of discomfort, embarrassment, inconvenience and danger related to each test. Mean rank scores were calculated, test ranks compared within groups and significance determined by the Wilcoxon rank test.

Results: Significant differences were seen in overall preference for white cell scan over barium enema and colonoscopy (p < 0.01) in both survey groups. Perceived discomfort and embarrassment demonstrated similar rankings.

Conclusion: This patient preference combined with the reported accuracy of white cell scanning further establishes the usefulness of this means of IBD diagnosis.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Mean rank scores for dimensions of test preference. Mean Preference Ranks for the perceived dimensions of discomfort, embarrassment, inconvenience and danger in the diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease comparing colonoscopy, barium enema and radiolabled white cell scanning in both individuals who have experienced these test (experienced) and those who have not (naive).

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