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Original Research

Healthcare provider and patient perspectives on diagnostic imaging investigations

Chandra R. Makanjee, Anne-Marie Bergh, Willem A. Hoffmann

African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine; Vol 7, No 1 (2015), 10 pages. doi: 10.4102/phcfm.v7i1.801

Submitted: 28 November 2014
Published:  20 May 2015


Background: Much has been written about the patient-centred approach in doctor–patient consultations. Little is known about interactions and communication processes regarding healthcare providers’ and patients’ perspectives on expectations and experiences of diagnostic imaging investigations within the medical encounter. Patients journey through the health system from the point of referral to the imaging investigation itself and then to the post-imaging consultation.

Aim and setting: To explore healthcare provider and patient perspectives on interaction and communication processes during diagnostic imaging investigations as part of their clinical journey through a healthcare complex.

Methods: A qualitative study was conducted, with two phases of data collection. Twenty-four patients were conveniently selected at a public district hospital complex and were followed throughout their journey in the hospital system, from admission to discharge. The second phase entailed focus group interviews conducted with providers in the district hospital and adjacent academic hospital (medical officers and family physicians, nurses, radiographers, radiology consultants and registrars).

Results: Two main themes guided our analysis: (1) provider perspectives; and (2) patient dispositions and reactions. Golden threads that cut across these themes are interactions and communication processes in the context of expectations, experiences of the imaging investigations and the outcomes thereof.

Conclusion: Insights from this study provide a better understanding of the complexity of the processes and interactions between providers and patients during the imaging investigations conducted as part of their clinical pathway. The interactions and communication processes are provider–patient centred when a referral for a diagnostic imaging investigation is included.

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Author affiliations

Chandra R. Makanjee, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Radiography, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Anne-Marie Bergh, MRC Unit for Maternal and Infant Health Care Strategies, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Willem A. Hoffmann, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa



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