Impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency on Italian radiologists: a national survey

On behalf of the Young SIRM Working Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To perform an online survey aimed at evaluating the impact of COVID-19 on Italian radiology departments. Methods: We launched a survey composed of 25 questions about how COVID-19 has changed the safety and organization of daily activity in Italian radiology units. Results: A total of 2136/10,564 (20.2%) radiologists of the Italian Society of Medical and Interventional Radiology participated. Two-thirds performed at least one diagnostic/interventional procedure on COVID-19 patients. The 88.1% reported a reduction in the elective imaging volumes, with US, mammography, and MRI having shown the greater decrease (41.1%, 23.9%, and 21.1%, respectively). In 69.6% of cases, institutions had trouble getting personal protective equipment (PPE), especially public hospitals and southern institutions. Less than 30% of participants were subjected to RT-PCR swab test, although 81.5% believed that it should be done on all health workers and 70% suggested it as the most important measure to improve safety at work. Slightly more than half of participants declared to work safely and felt to be adequately protected by their institutions. Up to 20% of northern participants were redeployed to clinical services. The first imaging examination performed by admitted COVID-19 patients was chest radiography in 76.3% of cases. Almost half of participants reported that less than 30% of health workers were infected in their radiology department, with higher rates in northern regions and public institutions. Conclusions: This snapshot of the current situation in Italian radiology departments could be used to harmonize the organization of working activity in order to safely and effectively face this pandemic. Key Points: • More than two-thirds of institutions had trouble getting PPE for health workers, with public hospitals and southern institutions that presented more procurement problems • A substantial drop of imaging volumes was observed in the vast majority of Italian radiology departments, mostly due to the decrease of ultrasound, mammography, and MRI, especially in private practice were working activity was stopped in 13.3% of institutions • RT-PCR swab to health workers was reported as the most suggested measure by Italian radiologists to improve safety at work, as more than 80% of them believed that it should be performed to all health workers, although less than 30% were subjected to this test.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6635-6644
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2020


  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Pandemic
  • Survey
  • Teleradiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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