Background. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a key diagnostic and monitoring tool in multiple sclerosis (MS) management. However, many scientific uncertainties, especially concerning correlates to impairment and prognosis remain. Little is known about MS patients’ experiences, knowledge, attitudes, and unmet information needs concerning MRI.
Brand J, Köpke S, Kasper J, Rahn A, Backhus I, Poettgen J, Stellmann JP, Siemonsen S, Heesen C.Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Multiple Sclerosis – Patients’ Experiences, Information Interests and Responses to an Education Programme. PLoS One. 2014 Nov 21;9(11):e113252
Methods.We performed qualitative interviews (n = 5) and a survey (n = 104) with MS patients regarding MRI patient information, and basic MRI knowledge. Based on these findings an interactive training program of 2 hours was developed and piloted in n = 26 patients.
Results Interview analyses showed that patients often feel lost in the MRI scanner and left alone with MRI results and images while 90% of patients in the survey expressed a high interest in MRI education. Knowledge on MRI issues was fair with some important knowledge gaps. Major information interests were relevance of lesions as well as the prognostic and diagnostic value of MRI results. The education program was highly appreciated and resulted in a substantial knowledge increase. Patients reported that, based on the program, they felt more competent to engage in encounters with their physicians.
Conclusion. This work strongly supports the further development of an evidence-based MRI education program for MS patients to enhance participation in health-care.
I have never had an MRI, so I can’t speak from any position of knowledge, but it appears that MRI baffles you just like it baffles me. But education can help you understand these images.
Ask an MRIer to explain what MRI really is and what each of the imaging modalities actually shows, eg. T1, T2, gadolinium, MTR, FLAIR, DTI, etc, etc and half an hour later you are often still no wiser. You get the gist by little appears to be concrete fact.
One MRI physicist once said of the scientist that “you lot will never understand this” cos the mathematics was too complex. MRI has revolutionised the diagnosis and monitoring of MS, but many of the outcomes, still have no definitive pathological outcomes so we hear associating this and prediction that.
Maybe some MRIers would like to do some guest posts to explain….Doctor Klaus? or are there some websites that you find particularly useful.