Saturday, 20 February 2016

MRI induced anxiety

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief


I recall watching my young daughter disappearing, head first, facing upwards into the tunnel of an MRI machine. She was given a buzzer to press if it became too frightening and I was impressed that she endured the whole examination without, apparently, pressing it. When she came out I asked if she had been frightened and she told me that she had never stopped pressing the buzzer! My guess is that it was not connected to anything.

Patients do get anxious when they are faced with the prospect of being confined in a small space and, in an MRI machine, there is the added discomfort of having to remain very still and also the noise that the machine makes.  Towards that end this article from Sweden by Ahlander et al. (2016) titled: 'Development and validation of a questionnaire evaluating patient anxiety during Magnetic Resonance Imaging: the Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Anxiety Questionnaire (MRI-AQ)' aims to 'develop and validate a new instrument measuring patient anxiety during Magnetic Resonance Imaging examinations'.

A 15-item questionnaire measuring anxiety symptoms and relaxation symptoms which showed good psychometric properties was developed.  The authors conclude: 'The MRI-AQ bridges a gap in knowledge and is a simple and useful tool for measuring patient anxiety during MRI examinations, during interventions, or when new procedures are introduced.'

You can listen to this as a podcast.

Reference

AHLANDER B.-M., ARESTEDT K., ENGVALL J., MARET E. & ERICSSON E. (2016) Development and validation of a questionnaire evaluating patient anxiety during Magnetic Resonance Imaging: the Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Anxiety Questionnaire (MRI-AQ). Journal of Advanced Nursing doi:1 10.1111/jan.12917

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