Patient perceptions of myeloma imaging: a survey study investigating perceptions and acceptance of the whole-body imaging techniques used for the diagnosis of myeloma

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science by Research


    Purpose: To investigate patient perceptions and acceptance of the three whole-body imaging modalities used for diagnosing myeloma; radiographic skeletal survey (RSS), low-dose whole-body computed tomography (LD-WBCT) and whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (WB-MRI). The secondary aim was to explore the factors affecting the acceptance of whole-body imaging for myeloma. 
    Methods and Materials: 60 participants (median age = 58.5 years) were recruited from three NHS trusts and myeloma support groups via social media. They completed a survey that included scoring different aspects of their experiences of whole-body imaging on a 5-point rating scale. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used to analyse differences in the distribution of scores. Participants were invited to provide open text responses for thematic analysis. 
    Results: All modalities demonstrated high levels of acceptability (median score = 4). WB-MRI was perceived as more stressful (p = 0.008) and claustrophobic (p = <0.001) than RSS and LD-WBCT. Thematic analysis of open text responses showed patients understood the importance of imaging for diagnosis but were concerned about existing bone damage, pain experienced during imaging and the diagnostic outcome. The duration of WB-MRI had a negative effect on acceptance. Respondents were averse to the physical manipulation required for RSS, whilst remaining stationery was perceived as a benefit of LD-WBCT and WB-MRI. Staff interactions had both positive and negative effects on acceptance. 
    Conclusions: While myeloma patients perceived psychological and physical burdens associated with whole-body imaging, they accepted its role in facilitating diagnosis. Staff support has a significant influence on imaging acceptance, and imaging choice should be tailored to individual needs. No evidence was obtained that supports the continued use of RSS.
    Date of AwardJul 2021
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorDoug Thake (Supervisor) & Brendan Greaney (Supervisor)

    Cite this