Risk perception of ionising radiation among hospital personnel

Charlotte Stiévenart, Catrinel Turcanu, Johan Camps

    Research outputpeer-review


    Perception of radiation risks has been studied in various contexts. However, few studies have addressed radiation risk perception among people professionally exposed to ionising radiation. This paper investigates risk perception among medical staff (doctors, nurses, technicians, hospital physicists) professionally exposed to ionising radiation. A questionnaire was developed and completed by 81 professionals from five major hospitals in Belgium. The results show that almost half of the respondents perceived the risks due ionising radiation in their working environment as low or very low, while a third perceive these risks as average risks. The risks from medical X-rays for an ordinary citizen of Belgium are perceived lower by the hospital staff population than by the general population. Ionising radiation risks account for about one third of the perceived job risk. Non-nuclear job-related risks typical to a hospital environment are almost equally important in explaining the perception of the overall job-related risk. A relationship was discovered between safety behaviour and risk perception: the more the respondents use the protection equipment, the lower is their risk perception. Finally, respondents with higher general knowledge about ionising radiation tend to perceive risks from ionising radiation at the workplace lower than the other, non-nuclear risks.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)145-157
    JournalAnnalen van de Belgische Vereniging voor Stralingsbescherming / Annales de l'association Belge de radioprotection
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Feb 2013

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