Introduction: The idea of radiographer image interpretation has not been fully explored in Fiji despite the great shortage of radiologists in the country. This is a feasibility study of radiographer image interpretation aimed at assessing the accuracy of radiographers in interpreting adult chest X-ray images at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) in Fiji.
Methods: Forty PA chest X-ray images were interpreted in terms of correctly commenting on the presence/ absence of pathology, the name of the pathology, and the location of the pathology on the data sheets by the CWMH diagnostic radiographers (n = 14). The radiographers were grouped according to their years of work experience (≤ 5 vs > 5) and the Mann Whitney U test on a two-tailed p-value of 0.05 was used to compare this grouping.
Results: The data analysis was conducted using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) v.25 and Microsoft Excel. The diagnostic performance of all radiographers in terms of triaging normal and abnormal in the images shows sensitivity ranging from 71.4 to 100%, with specificity ranging from 47.4 to 100%. The mean sensitivity, specificity, and the overall accuracy of radiographers in triaging normal and abnormal on the images were 89.5%, 72.9%, and 81.6%, respectively. The mean accuracy in naming the pathology was 33.6% and the location sensitivity was 45.7%. There was no statistically significant difference in results between the radiographers’ years of experience.
Conclusion: Without any formal qualification, training, and practice, the current results suggest that the cohort of radiographers can perform normal/abnormal triage of CXRs within a test setting. With a significant reduction in the radiographers’ accuracy in terms of naming and locating the abnormality, the study results do not support image interpretation by the radiographers at this stage.
Implications for practice: This feasibility study provides baseline information about the accuracy of image interpretation by diagnostic radiographers at CWMH and provides a platform for further research in image interpretation in Fiji.