Joseph Dlama Zira, Hafsah Garba, Mohammed Sidi, Moi Silas, Flavious Nkubli, Dimas Skam, Prince Ameh Ogenyi, Mohammed Sani Umar, Mathew Abubakar Garba



Background:  Radiological examinations are of great importance in the field of Medicine. The dose of radiation given in any diagnostic procedure should be enough to answer the relevant clinical question, but as low as reasonably achievable to lower the risk to the patient.  Therefore, it is important that physicians requesting the imaging are well-trained in deciding the diagnostic imaging indicated, and have an accurate knowledge of the associated risks.

Aim: To evaluate the knowledge of radiation dose for commonly performed radiological examinations among referring physicians in Aminu Kano teaching hospital (AKTH).

Method: This was a prospective and study conducted at AKTH, Kano, Northwestern Nigeria. A questionnaire was distributed to all cadres of medical doctors apart from Radiologists. Radiological investigations were listed and participants were asked to estimate equivalent doses using the dose of posteroanterior chest x-ray as a reference. Questions on knowledge of radiation hazard, radiation measurement units, and the use of referral guidelines were also included. A total score was aggregated for each question.

Result: A total of 90 questionnaires were distributed, and 70 were returned. The gender for the study includes 65.7% male and 34.3% females. Most of the physicians knew about ionizing radiation but very few of them (2.9%) knew its unit of measurement. The majority of the physicians were unable to estimate the doses for most of the radiological exams. Only 32.9% of the physicians were familiar with the stochastic and non-stochastic effects of radiation. Knowledge of the use of referral guidelines was found to be average, while knowledge on the non-ionizing nature of USS was adequate but for MRI it was found very insufficient (5.7%).

 Conclusion: These study findings revealed that most physicians were aware of radiation hazard but did not have appropriate awareness about radiation dose delivered by different imaging modalities and the effects of irradiation. Implementation of radiation protection courses and education on practical users, including radiation dose received by patients, radiation safety and justification of referral for imaging to Physicians could be an effective method to reduce patient dose in medical exposures.

Keywords: Physicians, Radiation dose, Knowledge, Radiological Examinations

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