Radiographers’ perspectives on interactional processes during geriatric diagnostic medical imaging encounters: A qualitative study

Kevin Ding , Chandra Makanjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Within a diagnostic medical imaging context, an interaction encompasses communication, physical contact and emotional support. These intricacies are an integral part in achieving a successful medical imaging outcome. An increasing ageing population presents unique challenges and leads to a higher demand for medical imaging services. There is a paucity of literature exploring the specialised knowledge and skills required by radiographers to service optimal person-centred care for elderly patients. The purpose of the study was to explore radiographers’ perspectives on interactional processes during older persons diagnostic medical imaging encounters.
Methods: The study used a qualitative exploratory research design with a descriptive approach to gain insights from 12 purposively sampled Australian radiographers, through open-ended interviews conducted online or by telephone. Verbatim transcripts were produced, and a thematic analysis employed until data saturation had been reached.
Results: The three themes that emerged from the data analysis were: 1) optimising care and communication, 2) expectations and preconceptions and 3) physical and emotional comfort and safety. Generally, the approach to undertaking older persons examinations entailed more adaptive and flexible competencies and skills in comparison to the familiarised routine diagnostic medical imaging encounters with the younger cohort. Radiographers shared aspects on striking a balance between efficiency and proficiency with the elderly patient needs, preferences, values, safety and well-being considerations. This required swift, complex decision-making and judgement calls due to the unpredictable nature of the context in which the elderly person was situated. The result was the adaptation of examination protocols through equipment manipulation, with minimal disruptions to emotional and physical comfort, achieved through interventions and support strategies.
Conclusion: The results highlight the many considerations for radiographers during a short clinical interaction. There is optimism in adding value to the elderly persons experience through a complex interactional process. It is anticipated that the identified skills will inform on best practice principles to achieve an elderly person-centred care medical imaging outcome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Genetics
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2024


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