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Patient Understanding of Oncologic Radiology Reports: Is Access to Electronic Medical Records Helpful?

J Cancer Educ. 2022 Aug 19. doi: 10.1007/s13187-022-02204-5. Online ahead of print.


Access to electronic medical record (EMR) patient portals made it easier for patients to quickly acquire the results of their radiology studies. However, there is little research on how well oncology patients understand the findings of radiology reports presented in the online portal without patient-physician discussion. This study assessed oncology patients’ confidence and accuracy in interpreting radiology reports either with or without layman translations. A survey based on a radiology report was administered to oncology patients and caregivers. Two versions of the radiological report were randomly distributed, either a standard report or one with layman translations to evaluate participant understanding and accuracy of interpreting radiological results. Among 85 participants, a majority (67.8%) reported wanting patient portal access to radiological reports, yet less than a quarter (21.2%) felt confident in reading and interpreting radiological reports. Univariate binary logistic regression models showed that participants who read the lay report were 8 times more likely to find the radiology report easy to read. This research demonstrated that the inclusion of layman translation of standard radiology reports improves oncology patients’ and caregivers’ understanding of such reports with statistically significant and clinically meaningful increases in readability.

PMID:35984630 | DOI:10.1007/s13187-022-02204-5

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