Radiographer Reporting of Chest Radiograph in Rural Health Unit: A Potential Practice in the Philippines
Mark Alipio 1, *, Lynn Cuthbertson 2, Grace Meroflor Lantajo 3
* Correspondence: email@example.com
The role of radiographers has evolved to encompass clinical image reporting. In the Philippines, the radiographer role in chest radiograph reporting is not yet established. This paper focuses on the performance of two groups of Filipino radiographers in rural health units (RHUs). This prospective comparative study invited 20 radiographers from five RHUs in Mindanao, Philippines to take part. A total of 1,000 chest radiographs were selected, with a normal to abnormal case ratio of 1:1. Of the 500 abnormal images, 250 cases were Tuberculosis (TB). All images were initially reported by radiologists for concordance and the subsequent radiographer reports were compared with sensitivity, specificity, and agreement rates calculated. One group of radiographers (n=10) attended a 10-week chest reporting education programme. Mean sensitivity, specificity, and agreement rates for radiographers who attended the education programme were 97.6%, 96.7%, and 97.1%, respectively for all cases with mean sensitivity, specificity, and agreement rates for radiographers without training, slightly lower at 90.3%, 91.3%, and 90.8%, respectively. For TB cases, mean sensitivity, specificity, and agreement rates for radiographers with training were all 95.5% compared to those of radiographers without training at 83.8%, 87.8%, and 85.8%, respectively. This study provides evidence that radiographers in the Philippines have the potential to accurately report chest radiographs to a reasonable standard when compared to the radiologist gold standard. Those participants with prior education performed to a higher standard than those without which may have positive implication for future practice and extension of the current radiographer role. Deployment of appropriately trained radiographers may help to augment capacity in diagnostic pathways and to improve radiological services in rural areas.
Keywords: chest; clinical; Philippines; radiographer; reporting; rural health