Improvement of radiographer commenting accuracy of the appendicular skeleton following a short course in plain radiography image interpretation: A pilot study

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Introduction: Radiographers are at times required to provide preliminary information on plain radiography when significant findings are identified. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of two short training modules to improve the accuracy of image interpretation of the appendicular skeleton amongst a group of radiographers. Methods: Eight radiographers volunteered to participate in the study. All undertook a pre-test and, following delivery of course materials, an immediate post-test for two consecutive modules. A retention test was undertaken 6 months later. Sensitivity (Sn), specificity (Sp) and accuracy (Acc) scores were evaluated against the “Gold Standard” radiologists’ reports. Paired-samples t-tests were carried out to compare image interpretation scores between the start of module one to the end of module two, and between the end of module 2 and 6 months later. Summary receiver operating characteristics (SROC) scores on each of the participants’ module two post-test study results were undertaken. Results: Significant improvements in scores were achieved between the mean (SD) scores of module 1 pre-test (77.5 (±3.9)) and the module 2 post-test (83.6 (±3.2) (P =0.022)). Sn, Sp and Acc scores increased from the start of module 1 pre-test to the end of module 2 post-test (Sn: 82.28–86.25%; Sp: 75.29–84.66%; Acc: 81.68–85.97%). The retention test revealed a non-significant reduction in mean scores (80.0 (±5.1)) when compared to post-test module 2 (83.6 (±3.2) (P =0.184)). SROC revealed an area under the curve of 0.90. Conclusion: Participants achieved significant improvements in commenting accuracy on plain radiography of the appendicular skeleton after completion of the two modules. However, continuous application and ongoing professional development is essential in order to maintain and develop the skills acquired.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-19
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medical Radiation Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Boundaries/roles
  • education
  • general radiography
  • image interpretation
  • radiography

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