Rationale and objectives: To undertake a systematic review of literature on patient centred outcomes and explore the use of patient defined outcomes in radiology research.
Materials and methods: i)
Data sources: Published empirical studies in peer reviewed journals. ii)
Study selection: Systematic search of English language radiology literature between 1990-2003, using four electronic databases, and reference lists of papers. Work relating to diagnostic or interventional imaging was included. Screening was excluded, together with articles based solely on the audit of patients' medical records. Patients needed to have inputted directly into the study, for example responding to questionnaires or participating in interviews. iii)
Data extraction: Abstracts were retrieved and relevant full text articles obtained. Each paper was reviewed independently by two reviewers (research team members) using a data extraction form, developed by the authors. Categorisation of papers was undertaken at team meetings.
Results: A total of 26 publications met the inclusion criteria for the review. Papers were placed within three categories: i) the primary aim of the study was investigate patient centred outcomes (n = 10); ii) the primary aim of the study was to describe the radiological procedure itself but patient contact was made post-procedure (n = 5) and iii) the primary aim of the study was to investigate patients' experiences during procedures (n = 11). Validated outcome measures were used in 10 studies. None of the outcome measures used were developed specifically for radiology. No papers were found where researchers had used patient defined outcomes.
Conclusion: The research highlighted difficulties relating to the review and reporting of outcomes research. The results indicated little patient engagement in outcome research in radiology.