Table 5

Factors that may modify patient-centred outcomes (PCOs) related to imaging tests

Individual patient characteristics
  • Sociocultural factors may impact response to multiple components of the testing process

  • Prior experience of the test or testing process may influence knowledge and expectations of the test’s purpose and acceptance of related risks

  • Prior probability of the condition being tested for, whether actual or perceived by the patient

Test type (ie, screening, diagnostic, monitoring)
  • Screening tests can lead to false positive results given large numbers of asymptomatic people being tested with relatively low prior probability

  • Monitoring or surveillance for known condition (eg, cancer recurrence) can lead to anxiety in test intervals, and/or reassurance if results are negative

Clinical situation
  • Nature of the clinical condition being evaluated and its potential significance for that person’s healthcare may affect the balance of PCOs

  • Testing in high acuity (eg, emergency department) settings may present different balance of benefits and risks (and prior probability of a given condition) compared with lower acuity (eg, primary care) setting

Clinicians and healthcare team
  • Perception of size and importance of test benefits and risks, based on experience, relationship with patient, healthcare setting, and knowledge or perception of an individual patient’s prior probability

  • Ability (including time) to communicate indication for test is being used, relative risks and benefits

  • Medical culture(s) may impose norms around test utilisation, acceptable levels of risk, patient expectations

Physical environment of imaging suite
  • Location in the clinic/hospital, visual appearance can influence patient emotions around the testing process

  • Radiology staff can modify outcomes such as emotions and physical experiences through communication, trust and empathy

Communication of test results
  • Methods and timing of communicating results may impact the knowledge or information or emotional impact of the test

  • This table was created by the authors and no permission is required.