Absolute Recommendations Taken More Seriously


September 2015

How radiologists word recommendations for follow-up imaging in reports is important, says a recent article published in the JACR®.

Providers are more likely to adhere to the recommendations and send patients for additional exams if the recommendations are absolute, meaning they do not mention the physician’s judgement (such as “Follow-up chest CT is recommended”). Referring physicians were less likely to act upon those statements that were conditional (such as “Consider following up”). Researchers examined 29,138 outpatient chest x-ray studies performed at a tertiary-care academic medical center in 2008. Studies that recommended follow up in absolute terms were followed 68 percent of the time. Only 45.8 percent of the conditional recommendations were followed. 

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