Fears, feelings, and facts: interactively communicating benefits and risks of medical radiation with patients

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2011 Apr;196(4):756-61. doi: 10.2214/AJR.10.5956.


Objective: As public awareness of medical radiation exposure increases, there has been heightened awareness among patients and physicians of the importance of holistic benefit-and-risk discussions in shared medical decision making.

Conclusion: We examine the rationale for informed consent and risk communication, draw on the literature on the psychology of radiation risk communication to increase understanding, examine methods commonly used to communicate radiation risk, and suggest strategies for improving communication about medical radiation benefits and risk.

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making*
  • Fear*
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent*
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / prevention & control*
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / psychology*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Public Opinion*
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiation Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Radiation Injuries / psychology*
  • Radiation Protection
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors