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Proceedings Paper

Nuisance levels of noise effects radiologists' performance
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Paper Abstract

This study aimed to measure the sound levels in Irish x-ray departments. The study then established whether these levels of noise have an impact on radiologists performance Noise levels were recorded 10 times within each of 14 environments in 4 hospitals, 11 of which were locations where radiologic images are judged. Thirty chest images were then presented to 26 senior radiologists, who were asked to detect up to three nodular lesions within 30 posteroanterior chest x-ray images in the absence and presence of noise at amplitude demonstrated in the clinical environment. The results demonstrated that noise amplitudes rarely exceeded that encountered with normal conversation with the maximum mean value for an image-viewing environment being 56.1 dB. This level of noise had no impact on the ability of radiologists to identify chest lesions with figure of merits of 0.68, 0.69, and 0.68 with noise and 0.65, 0.68, and 0.67 without noise for chest radiologists, non-chest radiologists, and all radiologists, respectively. the difference in their performance using the DBM MRMC method was significantly better with noise than in the absence of noise at the 90% confidence interval (p=0.077). Further studies are required to establish whether other aspects of diagnosis are impaired such as recall and attention and the effects of more unexpected noise on performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 February 2010
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7627, Medical Imaging 2010: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment, 76270O (23 February 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.844193
Show Author Affiliations
Mark F. McEntee, Univ. College Dublin (Ireland)
Amina Coffey, Univ. College Dublin (Ireland)
John Ryan, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
Aaron O'Beirne, Beaumont Hospital (Ireland)
Rachel Toomey, Univ. College Dublin (Ireland)
Micheal Evanoff, The American Board of Radiology (United States)
David Manning, Univ. of Cumbria (United Kingdom)
Patrick C. Brennan, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7627:
Medical Imaging 2010: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment
David J. Manning; Craig K. Abbey, Editor(s)

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