Radiology reporting: attitudes of referring physicians

Radiology. 1988 Dec;169(3):825-6. doi: 10.1148/radiology.169.3.3187005.


Despite the importance of radiology reports in communicating radiologists' interpretations of imaging studies, little appears to be known about the preferences and attitudes of referring physicians regarding the format and content of such reports. The authors surveyed all physicians who referred patients to the radiology department for their opinions of radiology reports. Two hundred fifty-one physicians (42%) responded. The overall quality of the reports was rated an average of 8 on a ten-point scale, with 10 representing the highest quality. Fifty-nine percent said the reports usually were clear, but 40% thought the reports were occasionally confusing. Forty-nine percent noted the reports sometimes did not sufficiently address the clinical questions. Thirty-two percent preferred the summary statement to be at the beginning of the report, while 29% preferred this portion at the end. Forty respondents (16%) thought that it took too much time to receive the reports. This survey can serve as a model for other radiology departments interested in assessing the attitudes of referring physicians toward radiology reports.

MeSH terms

  • Arizona
  • Attitude of Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Communication
  • Hospital Bed Capacity, 100 to 299
  • Hospital Departments / standards*
  • Medical History Taking
  • Medical Records / standards*
  • Radiology Department, Hospital / standards*
  • Referral and Consultation / standards*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Writing