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JRPMS Vol 6, No 2, June 2022, p.55-64

doi: 10.22540/JRPMS-06-055


Review Article

Communication of patients and healthcare personnel during the diagnostic radiological process

Kalliopi Alamanioti1,2, George I. Lambrou1,3,4

  1. Postgraduate Program “Metabolic Bone Diseases”, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School, Athens, Greece
  2. Department of Computerized Tomography-Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Ultrasonography, “G. Gennimatas” General Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece
  3. Laboratory for the Research of the Musculoskeletal System “Th. Garofalidis”, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School, Athens, Greece
  4. Choremeio Research Laboratory, First Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Keywords: Communication, Nursing staff, Physician, Patient, Radiology


Communication can be defined as an exchange of information between a sender and a receiver. Communication in medicine fosters the development of a therapeutic relationship. Communication between medical or nursing staff and patients during the process of a radiological diagnostic investigation constitutes a challenge, as the main objective of the procedure is the production of medical images. Communication between patients, doctors and nurses over the course of a radiological procedure can be divided into what takes place before, during, and after the imaging procedure. Communication before the procedure allows the involved parts, to meet, to start the therapeutic relationship, to explain the planned radiological investigation and set the groundwork for safety in the imaging procedure. During the procedure, the supportive role of the healthcare professionals is critical for succeeding in the production of clinically useful images, and to ensure the patient tolerates the investigation. After the procedure, communication aims at relaying the result, as well as supporting and guiding patients accordingly. The development of communication skills by the healthcare professionals is paramount for effective contact with patients in all three phases of the radiological diagnostic process, and should be the result of formal education. Optimal communication practices result in higher patient satisfaction levels, while every healthcare provider should factor-in the cost of achieving quality in communication.