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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-21

Awareness and knowledge of radiation in common radiological investigation and associated risks among medical students in Saudi Arabia: A cross-sectional study


1 Medical Imaging Department, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 College of Medicine, Imam Mohammed Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 College of Medicine, Almaarfa University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4 Medical Imaging Department, Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Malek Khalid Albusair
College of Medicine, Imam Mohammed Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijas.ijas_31_19

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Background: According to previous similar studies, health-care professionals have limited knowledge about radiation doses, and their related risks with medical imaging examinations are deficient. With a proper level of knowledge, future doctors can play a significant role in attributing to patient safety regarding ionizing radiation. Objective: The objective of the study was to estimate and establish a national parameter of awareness and knowledge regarding ionizing radiation doses and its accompanying adverse effects among medical students in Saudi Arabia. Participants and Methods: This cross-sectional study was done during the academic year 2018–2019. An online survey was distributed to collect the needed data. Students were asked to estimate the most commonly used radiological studies' radiation doses to see if students are aware that the magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound are nonionizing imaging studies. Results: A total of 518 students responded, the mean ± standard deviation (SD) age of studied students was 22.64 ± 1.92, 62.5% were males, and 40% of studied students were 5th-year medical students. About 5.3% of the students were very confident in their knowledge of the ionizing radiation dose, 27.2% were moderately confident, 36.5% not really confident, and 21% do not know. Most of the students, 49.6%, do not know exactly the risk of inducing fatal cancer from an abdominal computed tomography scan. About 63.7% of the students said that children are the most sensitive group to radiation. The total knowledge mean score was 2.25 (SD: ±1.97, median: 2, range: 0–8). We found a significant correlation between the total knowledge score and age, sex, university, and academic year, all with P = 0.001. Conclusion: The assessment of students' awareness of ionizing radiation exposures in diagnostic imaging demonstrates that there is a low level of confidence in the knowledge of the ionizing radiation dose and low total knowledge mean score; this advocates introducing the radiation protection instruction into the undergraduate medical curriculum.


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