Twitter Study Tracks MR Experience

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One researcher has found a novel way to track how patients feel about their magnetic resonance imaging exams: Twitter. Published in the December issue of the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciencesthe study may be able to help medical professionals improve patient experience.

Patients who used the social media site to share their MRI experiences expressed a variety of thoughts about the procedure including the cost, feelings of claustrophobia and stress, having to keep still during the scan and the imaging machine’s sound. Some patients also expressed anxiety over the results of the exam and the possibility of bad news. 

Johnathan Hewis, MSc, PgCert (LTHE), PgCert (BE), BSc Hon, an investigator from Charles Sturt University in Australia, discovered that many patients were unhappy when they were not allowed to select the music they listened to during the procedure. "Music choice," Hewis said in a news release, "is a simple intervention that can provide familiarity within a 'terrifying' environment.”

According to Hewis, the study demonstrates the potential use of Twitter as a viable platform to conduct research into the patient experience within the medical radiation sciences. The study analyzed 464 tweets related to MRI over the course of one month.

Period03 Nov 2015

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