Survey of hospital clinicians' preferences regarding the format of radiology reports

Clin Radiol. 2009 Apr;64(4):386-94; 395-6. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2008.11.009. Epub 2009 Jan 29.


Aim: To determine hospital consultants' preferences for the format and content of radiology reports.

Materials and methods: Ninety-nine questionnaires were sent to consultant staff with responsibility for requesting ultrasound examinations. The participants were invited to rank a variety of hypothetical reports in order of preference. They were also asked whether they felt other commonly included features of a radiology report were of value. Rank data were analysed by the Friedman statistic, Fisher's multiple comparisons least significant difference test, and the Kemeny-Young method.

Results: Forty-nine responses were received. There was a preference for more detailed reports that included a clinical comment by the radiologist, for both normal and abnormal results (p<0.05). Reports presented in tables were preferred. The combination of a detailed tabular report with a radiologist's comment was the most popular single structure, preferred by 43% of respondents for normal reports and 51% for abnormal reports.

Conclusion: Detailed reports with a radiologists' comment are preferred to briefer reports, even for normal examinations. Tabular reports are preferred to prose, with the combination of a detailed report presented in a tabular format accompanied by a radiologist's comment being the most preferred style.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Communication
  • England
  • Hospitalists
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Medical Records / standards*
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Radiology / organization & administration
  • Radiology / standards*