Indexed on: 17 May '02Published on: 17 May '02Published in: Clinical Radiology
To audit the relationship between Cancer Centre oncologists visiting peripheral hospitals and peripheral hospital radiologists by assessing (i) oncologists' knowledge of local radiological services; (ii) oncologists' perceptions of peripheral radiological services; (iii) peripheral radiologist's perceptions of oncologists; (iv) barriers to communication.A postal questionnaire was sent to all radiology departments visited by an oncologist, and to all medical and clinical oncologists from two regional oncology centres.The response rate was 100% (21 peripheral hospital radiology departments and all 35 oncologists). (i) Oncologists' knowledge of peripheral hospital imaging modalities was limited (especially MRI and intervention). (ii) 72% of oncologists rated the peripheral hospital radiology service as excellent or good, 46% rated the radiology report quality excellent to good. Deficiencies in oncological reports were identified. (iii) 44% of radiologists thought the oncologist did not relate well with the local radiology department. 50% of radiologists did not know the visiting oncologist's specialist interest. (iv) 69% of oncologists did not regularly attend peripheral hospital clinico-radiological meetings. Lack of written and oral information was hampering both specialties.Communication between oncologists and the local radiology department should include: (1) information about local radiology services for visiting oncologists (including trainees) and on the oncology team for radiologists; (2) standardized report content; (3) improved clinical information for radiologists; (4) regular clinico-radiological meetings.