Radiographer's confidence in managing patients with claustrophobia during magnetic resonance imaging

Abrar Al-Shemmari, Anthony Herbland, Theophilus Akudjedu, Olanrewaju Lawal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Claustrophobia is a major problem experienced by some patients referred for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This results in significant costs and delays to healthcare service provision due to appointment cancellations or patients' inability to complete MRI examinations. Radiographers may use several strategies to effectively manage patients with claustrophobia during MRI. This study aimed to determine radiographer's confidence in managing patients with claustrophobia and evaluate the perceived effectiveness of the intervention approaches employed. Methods: With institutional ethical approval, an online survey was conducted (15th September to 9th November 2020) among Kuwaiti MRI radiographers. The survey was designed to obtain information relating to participant demographics and the perceived confidence of radiographers in their use of interventions to manage claustrophobia during MRI procedures. Data obtained were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (v.26). Results: A total of 144 valid responses were obtained. Of the respondents, 82% (n = 118) were confident that they could support claustrophobic patients during MRI examinations. Almost all respondents (97.9%, n = 141) employed various claustrophobia reduction and relaxation techniques to improve patient experience and increase scan completion rates. There was a significant association between radiographer's level of education (r s = +0.18, p = 0.028) and experience (r s = +0.33, p < 0.001) with their confidence managing claustrophobic patients. While participating radiographers considered lectures and training the most effective methods to improve their skills in managing such patients, educating claustrophobic patients prior to their MRI scan was the most effective technique for facilitating scan completion. Conclusion: Kuwaiti MRI radiographers are confident in applying different claustrophobic management techniques to improve patient compliance. Patient education, through supportive discussion, prior to their MRI examination was identified as the most effective intervention for managing claustrophobia. Implications for practice: Patient education before MRI examination is necessary to enhance their experience and optimise scan completion rates. In addition, it is essential that MR radiographers develop their practical competence in supporting patients with claustrophobia during their scans.
Original languageEnglish
Article number28
Pages (from-to) 148-153
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Early online date28 Sept 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Sept 2021


  • Claustrophobia
  • Education
  • MRI
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Patient care


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