The radiation safety education and the pain physicians' efforts to reduce radiation exposure

Korean J Pain. 2017 Apr;30(2):104-115. doi: 10.3344/kjp.2017.30.2.104. Epub 2017 Mar 31.


Background: C-arm fluoroscopy equipment is important for interventional pain management and can cause radiation injury to physicians and patients. We compared radiation safety education and efforts to reduce the radiation exposure of pain specialists.

Methods: A survey of 49 pain specialists was conducted anonymously in 2016. The questionnaire had 16 questions. That questionnaire was about radiation safety knowledge and efforts to reduce exposure. We investigated the correlation between radiation safety education and efforts of radiation protection. We compared the results from 2016 and a published survey from 2011.

Results: According to the 2016 survey, all respondents used C-arm fluoroscopy in pain interventions. Nineteen respondents (39%) had received radiation safety education. Physicians had insufficient knowledge about radiation safety. When the radiation safety education group and the non-education group are compared, there was no significant difference in efforts to reduce radiation exposure and radiation safety knowledge. When the 2011 and 2016 surveys were compared, the use of low dose mode (P = 0.000) and pulsed mode had increased significantly (P = 0.001). The number checking for damage to radiation protective garments (P = 0.000) and use of the dosimeter had also increased significantly (P = 0.009). But there was no significant difference in other efforts to reduce radiation exposure.

Conclusions: Pain physicians seem to lack knowledge of radiation safety and the number of physicians receiving radiation safety education is low. According to this study, education does not lead to practice. Therefore, pain physicians should receive regular radiation safety education and the education should be mandatory.

Keywords: Education; Pain procedure; Radiation exposure; Radiation protection; Radiation safety; Surveys and questionnaires.