The variation of radiologists' performance over the course of a reading session

Markus C. Elze, Sian Taylor-Phillips, Claudia Mello-Thoms, Elizabeth A. Krupinski, Alastair G. Gale, Aileen Clarke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The radiologist's task of reviewing many cases successively is highly repetitive and requires a high level of concentration. Fatigue effects have, for example, been shown in studies comparing performance at different times of day. However, little is known about changes in performance during an individual reading session. During a session reading an enriched case set, performance may be affected by both fatigue (i.e. decreasing performance) and training (i.e. increasing performance) effects. In this paper, we reanalyze 3 datasets from 4 studies for changes in radiologist performance during a reading session. Studies feature 8-20 radiologists reading and assessing 27-60 cases in single, uninterrupted sessions. As the studies were not designed for this analysis, study setups range from bone fractures to mammograms and randomization varies between studies. Thus, they are analyzed separately using mixed-effects models. There is some indication that, as time goes on, specificity increases (shown with p<0.05 for 2 out of 3 datasets, no significant difference for the other) while sensitivity may also increase (p<0.05 for 1 out of 3 datasets). The difficulty of 'normal' (healthy / non-malignant) and 'abnormal' (unhealthy / malignant) cases differs (p<0.05 for 3 out of 3 datasets) and the reader's experience may also be relevant (p<0.05 for 1 out of 3 datasets). These results suggest that careful planning of breaks and session length may help optimize reader performance. Note that the overall results are still inconclusive and a targeted study to investigate fatigue and training effects within a reading session is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2013
Subtitle of host publicationImage Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 14 2013
EventSPIE Medical Imaging Symposium 2013: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment - Lake Buena Vista, FL, United States
Duration: Feb 10 2013Feb 11 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume8673
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X

Other

OtherSPIE Medical Imaging Symposium 2013: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment
CountryUnited States
CityLake Buena Vista, FL
Period2/10/132/11/13

Keywords

  • Fatigue
  • Observer performance evaluation
  • Radiologist
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Elze, M. C., Taylor-Phillips, S., Mello-Thoms, C., Krupinski, E. A., Gale, A. G., & Clarke, A. (2013). The variation of radiologists' performance over the course of a reading session. In Medical Imaging 2013: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment [867310] (Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering; Vol. 8673). https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2007872