Knowledge of radiation and it effects among Doctors in Makurdi, North Central Nigeria

Abstract

Mohammad H

Ionizing radiation is widely used to diagnose many diseases. The relevant hazards are known to be as an important limitation of its application. It is believed that the awareness of ionizing radiation dose value is one of the main stages in patient radiation protection. This study therefore assessed doctors knowledge on patient radiation doses during radiological investigation using medical imaging equipment namely: convectional X-ray machine, computerized tomography, mammography, MRI and ultrasound in various hospitals in Benue State. A questionnaire was designed and distributed to all cadres of medical doctors apart from Radiologists. Doctors were asked to estimate equivalent doses using the posterior-anterior chest x-ray as a reference with the use of the listed radiological investigations. Questions on knowledge of hazards of radiation, radiation measurement units and use of required guidelines were also included. Scores were aggregated for each question. A total of 100 questionnaires were distributed and 49(49%) were returned. The gender for the study includes 79.6% males and 20.4% females. About 100% of the doctors were aware of radiation hazards, but only 24.5% knew its unit and measurement. A total of 71.4% of the participants are not aware of the required guidelines for imaging and also 63.3% were unable to estimate doses for most of the radiological examinations. Only 16.3% of the doctors knew that MRI and Ultrasound do not use ionizing radiation. The study findings revealed that most doctors were aware of radiation hazards but did not have appropriate awareness about radiation dose delivered by different imaging modalities. Implementation of radiation protection courses and education of practical users including radiation safety during medical education programs could be an effective method to reduce the patient dose in medical exposures.

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