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Program Information

Risk Estimation Versus Risk Perception


C McCollough


C McCollough1*, (1) Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

WE-C-217A-1 Wednesday 10:30:00 AM - 12:30:00 PM Room: 217A

The recent attention in the scientific and popular press to the potential risks associated with ionizing radiation from medical imaging has resulted in some patient becoming unwilling to undergo medically appropriate procedures that use ionizing radiation. Scientific data on the magnitude of both potential risks and benefits are not always successful in allaying patient concerns, even though the potential risks are very small and the potential benefits are very large. An understanding of the psychological factors affecting the perception of risk helps to explain this behavior. For patients to feel comfortable with medical procedures involving ionizing radiation, they must be believe that their medical providers have their best interest in mind, that the ordered procedure is medically appropriate and may help their doctor in managing their care, and that those providing the imaging services are actively engaged in efforts to ensure patient safety.

Learning objectives:
1. Differentiate between risk estimation and risk perception
2. List several factors that affect a person’s perception of risk
3. Describe some of the consequences that may occur when patients do not feel that they are safe


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