Patient-Centered Strategies to Improve Radiographic Practice for Patients with Down Syndrome: A Systematic Review

Xiao Zhong, Nabita Singh, Lori Boyd, Celeste Lawson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background Down syndrome is a common human genetic disorder caused by trisomy of chromosome 21. Individuals with Down syndrome can present with a range of health issues during their lives that may require imaging for diagnosis. Radiographers, therefore, play a significant role in the management and communication of Down syndrome patients' health. Purpose This review identified patient-centered strategies that radiographers should use to provide quality imaging services for Down syndrome patients, who may have limited verbal ability and behavioral issues. Method A systematic review using the established PRISMA guidelines was undertaken of current literature obtained through the Ovid and Scopus databases. A total of 189 articles were found, of which 41 were categorized and analyzed in detail. Findings A high level of care for Down syndrome patients will require longer than usual procedures, and the patients will not respond well to being rushed or ignored. Down syndrome patients have difficulty verbalizing, yet they understand more than is often thought. Individuals may require increased imaging time to give them time to respond, especially to pain. Patients are at risk of injury with AAI or other pathologies, and caution should be taken with flexion and extension spine x-rays. Radiographs may reveal undisclosed physical abuse. Conclusion Specific strategies with verbal and nonverbal communication help to facilitate communication, reduce anxiety and fear, and improve compliance with Down syndrome patients. Patients may require an increased level of care; increased imaging time; and allowing support people to be present during the examination process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-372
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Down syndrome
  • patient-centered care
  • radiography
  • systematic review

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