INTRODUCTION: Our aim was to investigate the means radiographers and radiographers in training (RTrs) use to seek information on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) physics and technical issues.
METHODS: An estimated 3000 radiographers and RTrs were reached by e-mail. We proposed an online survey with eight English-language multiple choice questions investigating how often radiographers have doubts about MRI physics or technical issues, where and what kind of information they search for, and on which websites. The statistical χ2 test was used.
RESULTS: We obtained 300 answers from European professionals (228 radiographers, 72 RTrs) from 9 European countries, with 288 of 300 (96%) responses coming from Italy. Within the Italian respondents, 41% of RTrs have doubts about MRI physics versus 56% of radiographers (p = 0.028). Basic MRI sequences details are more searched by RTrs (36%) than radiographers (22%) (p = 0.088), as well as clinical protocols (64% versus 44%, p = 0.054). Radiographers and RTrs mostly search on the Internet (74% versus 81%, p = 0.404); "older colleagues" are more frequently asked for information by RTrs (27% versus 61%, p = 0.001), they consult the "MRI manufacturer" less frequently (11% versus 34%, p = 0.001); and 66% of radiographers and 72% of RTrs search "in mother-language and English" (p = 0.590). For clinical protocols RTrs prefer the website mriquestions.com (17% versus 44%, p = 0.001). Websites most used were: mriquestions.com (41%), radiopaedia.org (31%), and mrimaster.com (13%). In addition, 30 respondents mentioned using the Italian site fermononrespiri.com.
CONCLUSION: Italian radiographers and RTrs frequently search for information about MRI physics and technical issues, with slight differences between groups regarding sources and clinical protocols. Protocol setting, and MRI physics and sequences seem to be the main limitations of RTr knowledge. To remedy this gap, more time on training/university lectures and a rethinking of the practical training activities is required.