2022-09-30 15:59:57 - 16

Risk and benefit communication of radiological exams in pediatrics on the agenda

How to improve the dialogue between the technical team and the patient? What do parents need to know? Leading international experts presented a series of recommendations on Risk and benefit communication of radiological exams in pediatrics in a webinar held by the College's Radiological Protection Commission, with participation from the SBP, ABFM, SLARP, Latin Safe, Image Gently and the International Commission on Radiological Protection

exames radiológicos em pediatria radiologia pediátrica

The Brazilian College of Radiology and Image Diagnosis (CBR) promoted a webinar with the theme “Communication of risk and benefit of radiological exams in pediatrics”, on the night of September 26th. Conducted by the College's Radiological Protection Commission (CPR), the online seminar featured lectures by three big names in the specialty in the world: Dr. Donald Frush, president of Image Gently, pediatric radiologist at Duke University (USA); Dr. Kimberly Applegate, pediatric radiologist, chair of the 3rd Committee on Medicine of the International Commission on Radiological Protection; and Manuel Duarte Lobo, technologist, president of the Portuguese Association of Medical Imaging and Radiotherapy (APMIR).

The experts presented a series of recommendations on communicating the risk and benefit of radiological examinations in pediatrics. “Any type of conversation that involves risk, we have to be informed, be sensitive and seek engagement with the interlocutor. You need to know what you are talking about, understand what they are asking, ask if parents, caregivers, have more questions”, recommended Dr. Donald Frush.

Doctors addressed images and statistics that show how radiation is generally presented negatively in the media, from nuclear bombs, the tragedies of Fukushima and Chernobyl, to the transformation of superheroes in fiction; and made recommendations on how to dialogue with patients and families in order to break resistance to radiological examinations.

“Radiologic exams protect children,” said Dr. Kimberly Applegate. “In today's complex medical environment, collaboration is key. It is important to expand communication between everyone involved, ensuring that we provide the best care, the best assistance, which includes ethics and the best possible outcome for children, being transparent, encouraging a questioning attitude from the patient, asking questions and giving answers in a language that is understandable,” he added.

Information is the key

Manuel Duarte Lobo highlighted the importance of providing informative materials with explanations to patients and relatives about radiological exams. "The advisable thing is that it is not extremely technical information, but to reassure them of the benefits [of the test], which, if the doctor prescribed it, it is because there are clinical suspicions and that test is really necessary". The Portuguese technologist also defended actions with the community, such as articles in newspapers and other clarifying actions in the media, to break down possible barriers to radiological examinations.

Pediatric radiologist Dolores Bustelo, president of the Paraná Society of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging (SRP) and coordinator of Pediatric Radiology at the CBR Scientific Committee, commented on a study statistic presented by Dr. Donald Frush who points out that only 3% of the information on social media spoke well of radiation: “Actually, what people really need to see and recognize is that imaging tests that use ionizing radiation save lives”, he pointed out.

Dr. Tatiana Fazecas, president of the Latin American Society of Pediatric Radiology (SLARP) and member of the CBR Scientific Committee, spoke about actions carried out by SLARP in the area and defended that clarification actions on the risks and benefits of radiological exams should also involve the physician prescriber. “This dialogue has to be with everyone.”

Awareness and embracement in the risk and benefit communication of radiological exams in pediatrics

The Brazilian Society of Pediatrics (SBP) was also represented at the CBR Webinar. “Imaging exams are important to help us in the diagnosis, guide the best treatment, clinical or surgical, for patients, but we know the risks that ionizing radiation brings to our patients. Therefore, it is fundamental that there is an awareness of doctors regarding the indication of the exam, the technique that will be performed, and the reception of the child, because we know that children are often taken to an environment where they feel afraid. , a hostile environment for her, which can mean that the exam has to be done two, three, four times,” said Dr. Victor Horácio de Souza Costa Junior, president of the Sociedade Paranaense de Pediatria (SPP), who represented the SBP at the CBR online seminar.

Former President of CBR, Chair of the Advisory Board, and member of the College's Committee on Radiological Protection, Dr. Alair Santos highlighted the importance of the Webinar. “The topic was well addressed, more and more we have to integrate with pediatricians so that we can disseminate this knowledge. We need not to scare patients, parents. We need to show the importance of radiology.”

Dr. Mônica Bernardo, coordinator of the CBR Radiological Protection Commission mentioned that the College will carry out educational actions on the subject.

Marcel Zago Botelho, president of the Brazilian Association of Medical Physics (ABFM) and member of the CBR Radiological Protection Commission, also participated in the online seminar, highlighting the relevance of integration; and Dr. Marta Oyela, president of Latin Safe, who mentioned the creation of specific committees for the different approaches in Latin America. The CBR reinforces joint actions with other societies to improve patient care.

The CBR Webinar is available in its entirety, with original audio or dubbed in Portuguese, at official channel of CBR on YouTube.