Diagnostic accuracy of chest radiograph interpretation by graduate radiographers in Uganda
Background. Radiographers are increasingly being called on to take on new roles, such as X-ray film interpretation in imaging departments. In Uganda, where this study was conducted, there are just >40 radiologists in a population of ~40 million. In many hospitals, especially in rural areas, clinicians often rely on radiographers to obtain an opinion to assist with proper patient management. Therefore, Ugandan radiographers are being trained in basic radiographic interpretation to address the shortage of radiologists.
Objective. To determine the diagnostic accuracy of graduate radiographers in interpreting chest radiographs.
Methods. This was a cross-sectional retrospective study involving 57 graduate radiographers who were provided with 53 randomly selected chest radiographs to interpret. The validation of a radiographer’s interpretation of a radiograph was aided by the opinion of two senior radiologists. SPSS version 25 software (IBM Corp, USA) was used to analyse the findings and the radiographer’s performance was assessed using the receiver operating characteristic (ROC). The mean abnormality location sensitivity, overall radiographer sensitivity, specificity and false-positive rates were calculated.
Results. The radiographers’ diagnostic accuracy was high. The abnormality location sensitivity was 88.7%, overall sensitivity 76.6%, specificity 79.7% and false-positive rate 20.1%.
Conclusion. The study demonstrated that radiographers, if trained, can accurately report on chest radiographs to an acceptable standard.
A G Mubuuke, Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
F Businge, Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
E Kiguli-Malwadde, Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
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Date published: 2019-12-12
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