The aim of this research was to investigate information on restricting the exposure to radiation from nuclear medicine patients following diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. It comprised an audit of current practice in UK departments and interviews and focus groups exploring the views and experiences of patients and professionals. The majority of departments provide verbal and/or written information on restricting contact with others, particularly pregnant women and children. Fewer departments give instructions about minimising contamination. On the whole, information provided complies with or, in the case if diagnostic procedures, goes beyond the restrictions specified in the Medical and Dental Guidance Notes. Information is rarely produced in formats for people with disabilities or people who do not have English as a first language. We identified a need to communicate more effectively with patients the rationale for restrictions and the consequences of non-adherence. We also identified a need to raise awareness of radiation protection issues and disseminate information more effectively with professionals outside of nuclear medicine departments. Ways in which both of these needs can be addressed are discussed.
This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.
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