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Experiences of Interns and General Practitioners of Communicating with and Writing Referrals to the Radiology Department
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Health Sciences, Medical Science.
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this licentiate thesis was to describe the experiences of medical interns and general practitioners (GPs) communicating with and writing referrals to the radiology department. The referral is a major communication tool between medical professionals to establish an accurate diagnosis.   

Data were collected by means of qualitative research, using focus group interviews with three groups of medical interns during their internship in hospitals and with three groups of general practitioners in their health care centre. Data were analysed using qualitative thematic content analysis.     

The study showed some differences between the groups in that the medical interns required more support in both referral writing situations and the decision portion of the process, choosing imaging modality. The general practitioners were more confident in the narrative process of the referral, writing facts and formulating diagnostic questions, but similarly they needed additional support in decisions concerning the imaging portion of the process. The GPs even advised an evident share of responsibility by letting the radiologists control the choice of imaging method. Both groups suggested different opportunities for dialogue and education as crucial to achieving improvements.

The results can be discussed in relation to the specific radiology knowledge and are characterized by a combination of specific expert knowledge and tacit knowledge. The means of communication could be evaluated from different perspectives in relation to what referents and staff in the radiology department perceive and expect. The results can also be assessed in relation to the demand-control-support theory. In this respect, the medical interns experienced high demands and poor control and support, while the GPs experienced demands differently; they often controlled their situation but still needed enhanced radiological support.       

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2016.
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757
Keyword [en]
Referral, communication, knowledge, radiology, General Practitioner, medical intern
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Health Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-60279ISBN: 978-91-7583-753-6 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7583-754-3 (electronic)OAI: diva2:1045765
2016-12-09, D770, Luleå tekniska universitet, Luleå, 09:00
Available from: 2016-11-10 Created: 2016-11-10 Last updated: 2016-11-18

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