• Confidence Intervals and Sample Size Calculations for Studies of Film-reading Performance

      Scally, Andy J.; Brealey, S. (2003)
      The relaxation of restrictions on the type of professions that can report films has resulted in radiographers and other healthcare professionals becoming increasingly involved in image interpretation in areas such as mammography, ultrasound and plain-film radiography. Little attention, however, has been given to sample size determinations concerning film-reading performance characteristics such as sensitivity, specificity and accuracy. Illustrated with hypothetical examples, this paper begins by considering standard errors and confidence intervals for performance characteristics and then discusses methods for determining sample size for studies of film-reading performance. Used appropriately, these approaches should result in studies that produce estimates of film-reading performance with adequate precision and enable investigators to optimize the sample size in their studies for the question they seek to answer.
    • Expanding training capacity for radiographer reporting using simulation: Evaluation of a pilot academy project

      Harcus, J.W.; Snaith, Beverly (2019-11)
      Introduction: Whilst there is increasing demand on radiology services in the UK, pressures are restricting the expansion of the multi-professional workforce. A pilot academy for radiography reporting was established to augment the traditional university and clinical education in a simulated environment using focussed teaching and real image worklists in a dedicated environment away from departments. Methods: Located at a facility to replicate the clinical reporting environment, the emphasis of the nine-month pilot was to provide extensive ‘hands-on’ training to eight trainees. Evaluation of the academy was undertaken through focus groups, telephone interviews, and online surveys to consider the experiences of the trainees and their managers and mentors. Results: There was overwhelming support for the academy from trainees, mentors, and managers. Key benefits included relieving pressures on department and mentors; providing an intense, structured, and safe environment to learn; and, perhaps most importantly, an extensive and cohesive peer-support network. Issues identified included conflict within departments due to differences in reporting style and the need for greater collaboration between the university, academy, and departments. Conclusion: The use of simulation in education is widely researched, however, there are a number of key factors that need to be considered when implementing it into practise. Peer-support and reflection is seen as essential for its success. Extensive dedicated time to focus on reporting alongside peers can support the development of these skills away from the clinical environment and as such can reduce pressure on service delivery and positively influence learner outcomes.
    • Methodological approaches to evaluating the practice of radiographers¿ interpretation of images: A review.

      Brealey, S.; Scally, Andy J. (2008)
      Recent initiatives to modernise the National Health Service describe how improving pay structures and staff working lives can be achieved in the form of advanced practitioner and consultant posts. Role development in Radiography represents a fundamental change to professional practice of radiographers and is subject to the provisions of the statutory and professional codes of conduct which govern such practice. In Diagnostic Radiography the response to Government initiatives has led to a change in practice so that radiographers in these new posts provide reports for a variety of imaging modalities. At the same time as there have been changes in the practice of Radiography, the discipline of evidence-based medicine has emerged. Changes in clinical practice should be underpinned by evidence from research. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the methodological approaches used to conduct research that evaluates one of the most salient areas of development in Radiography practice, that is the role of radiographers as advanced or consultant practitioners when interpreting plain radiographs. We begin by discussing what an evaluation is and two broad approaches for conducting health services research, and then appraise the evidence about radiographer reporting in the context of these methods of evaluation. We then suggest future considerations about the methodological approaches to evaluating radiographer reporting practice and identify where there are evidence gaps and the need for further research to inform evidence-based Radiography.