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Sending patients preparatory DVD ‘improves’ MRI success rate

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A DVD designed to help patients prepare for a Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan, including guidance on how to relax, led to more successful scans, according to UK researchers.

The patients receiving the DVD also felt less anxious during the scan, said the researchers from the University of Manchester.

In the study, published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, 83 outpatients who were due to have a MRI scan were split in to two groups.

Both groups received the standard MRI Centre information leaflet which included safety information, information related to the appointment, technical features of an MRI scanner, data protection and the experience that might be expected.

One group also received the study DVD, which contained two sections.

“Finding that an affordable, acceptable and effective intervention can be sent to patients could have an important impact on patient care and health care costs”

Rachael Powell

The first was “preparation for MRI” and included information about the procedures to expect, information about what the scan experience would feel like, a demonstration of a patient undergoing a scan, and information about others’ experiences of having an MRI scan.

The second section detailed relaxation techniques and encouraged patients to practice the techniques before and during their scan. They were asked to watch the DVD at least once before their scan appointment.

Of the 41 patients who received the DVD, 35 had satisfactory scan outcomes – defined as successfully staying in the scanner for the full examination and resulting in high quality images. In contrast, in the other group with 42 patients, only 23 had satisfactory scans.

Lead author Dr Rachael Powell said: “We found that the vast majority of participants found the DVD an easy format to use, with almost all participants viewing the DVD at least once, with over half the participants using it at least twice.

“Most of the participants found the DVD useful and said it helped them to feel less anxious and more confident about taking the scan,” she said.

“Given the high number of scans where either patients move in the scanner, reducing image quality, or where patients do not manage to stay in the scanner long enough to complete the examination, finding that an affordable, acceptable and effective intervention can be sent to patients by post prior to their scan could have an important impact on patient care and health care costs,” she added.



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Readers' comments (1)

  • Excellent idea. Having had to have several MRI scans I would have appreciated this before the first one

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