Objectives: Nuclear medicine procedures use radiopharmaceuticals, which produce radiation and potential adverse reactions, albeit at a low rate. It is the patient's ethical, legal, and medical right to be informed of the potential side effects of procedures applied to them. Our purpose was to determine the effect of providing information about intravenous radiopharmaceutical administration on the anxiety level of patients who request more information.
Materials and methods: This study was completed in two separate Nuclear Medicine Departments. The study included 620 (247 M, 373 F) patients who had been referred for myocardial perfusion, bone, dynamic renal, and thyroid scintigraphic examinations. The patients were divided into two groups according to whether they requested more information or not. Group 1 consisted of 388 patients who wanted to receive more information about the procedure, while Group 2 consisted of 232 patients who did not request additional information. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-S and STAI-T) was used to determine a patient's anxiety level. After simple information was given, state and trait anxiety levels were measured in both groups. We gave detailed information to the patients in Group 1 and then measured state anxiety again. Detailed information included an explanation of the radiopharmaceutical risk and probable side effects due to the scan procedure.
Results: There was no statistical difference between Groups 1 and 2 in STAI-T or STAI-S scores after simple information was given (p = 0.741 and p = 0.945, respectively). The mean value of STAI-S score was increased after the provision of detailed information and there was a statistically significant difference between after simple information SATI-S and after detailed information STAI-S (p < 0.001). The STAI-S score was increased in 246 patients and decreased in 110 patients after detailed information, while there was no change in 32 patients. After detailed information, the greatest increase in STAI-S score was seen in the myocardial perfusion scan patients, when evaluating according to scan procedure (p < 0.001). However, in the dynamic renal patient group, there was no statistical difference (p = 0.271).
Conclusions: Informed consent including detailed information about radiation exposure, the risk factors, and potential adverse reactions of intravenous radiopharmaceutical administration increased the patients' anxiety level in those who request more information.