Image Interpretation and Reporting by Radiographers in Africa: Findings from the Literature Review and their Application to Zambia
Background: The need for having reporting radiographers has been a part of the discussion in the last decade in Zambia. This is due to acritical shortage of radiologists, an increase in demand for imaging services, and the radiographers' desire for professional recognition in providing formal reports
on radiographic images similar to those they undertake in ultrasonography.
Objective: The study aimed at reviewing the evidence relating to image interpretation and reporting by radiographers in Africa and apply the
findings to Zambia.
Methodology: A literature review was used to bring together studies on image interpretation and reporting by radiographers in Africa. Online databases, radiography journals, cited references, grey literature, and the internet were searched for relevant studies.
Results: Thirteen studies were included in this review. The findings revealed that radiographers in Africa have a positive attitude towards image interpretation and reporting. In addition, their accuracy at image interpretation is comparable to radiologists. The main benefit identified by the establishment of reporting radiographers is improved access to imaging reports. The review also found that medical doctors are in support of the establishment of reporting radiographers. However, the main limitations are a lack of postgraduate courses in this speciality and the limitation of their scope of practice.
Conclusion: Reporting radiographers contribute significantly to the delivery of quality imaging services by assisting radiologists in reporting on radiographic images. There is a need for policymakers in Africa, including Zambia, to extend the scope of practice of radiographers and establish postgraduate image interpretation courses.
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