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Perception of radiation risks

A PROJECT PROPOSAL WRITTEN

BY

MADU CHIEMEZIE MICHAEL

2014/194664

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TOPIC:

AN EXPLORATIVE ANALYSIS ON THE DISCREPANCY BETWEEN THE PERCIEVED AND ACTUAL HEALTH RISKS INVOLVED IN THE PRACTICE OF MEDICAL IMAGING

SUPERVISOR:

DR (MRS) ULOMA NWOGU

MARCH 2019.

BACKGROUND

Risk can be defined as something that may cause something bad to happen (such as an injury or a loss). On the other hand, health risk can be said to be an adverse event or negative health consequence due to a specific event, disease or condition. A health risk may be related to genetic conditions, chronic diseases, certain occupations or sports, lifestyle factors or any number of events or situations.

Perceptions of the severity of risk by ordinary people are usually quite different from the risks actually measured or obtainable for many hazards and activities. Paul Slovic and his colleagues conducted a survey among various groups to determine how risks were perceived. Individuals were asked to rank 30 activities in order of most hazardous to least hazardous. Analysis of the data indicated that how people perceive risks bears no relation to the actual hazards ranking of the activities. Further studies suggest that the following characteristic of risk influences public perception;

-controllability”,

-degree of knowledge of the risk”,

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-tendency to kill rather than injure

Therefore, developing messages that incorporate discussions of these various factors may reduce the “riskiness” of radiation as perceived by the public.

Now bringing it down to radiation and medical imaging, the majority of the public does not have a true idea of the term ‘radiation’’, they have construed a lot of myths and misconceptions about radiation and its implications in their minds, such misconceptions include the misbelieve that medical imaging scientists are potential cancer patients, some also think that radiation causes one to be impotent and so many other misconstrued ideologies. Misconceptions about radiation continue to persist because of misleading experiences, lack of knowledge and the massive media coverage afforded to the use and the misuse of nuclear power. Such misunderstandings can create obstacles to appropriate behavior and unwarranted fears about radiation which can in turn prevent people from getting appropriate diagnostic tests or therapy, thus compromising medical care for such individuals.

Therefore, this research work seeks to single out the actual health risks involved in the practice of medical imaging, assemble all fallacies and false ideologies of the general public regarding the profession, exploratively analyze the discrepancies between the actual and perceived health risks involved and then correcting the generally perceived falsehood about radiation and the practice of medical imaging through definitive, thorough and holistic research approaches.

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

There seems to be a generally perceived danger and risk involved in the practice of medical imaging, therefore, this research seeks to point out those dangers and also address them.

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SCOPE OF STUDY

The study will cover Enugu state, spanning across three universities in Enugu state.

OBJECTIVE OF STUDY

The objectives of this research are as follows;

• To use a simple vocabulary to explain radiation, what it is, and what it is not

• To single out the almost insignificant health risks involved in the practice of medical imaging

• To compute and lay to rest all falsely construed ideologies and perceptions of the general public regarding radiation and the practice of medical imaging

• To dispel all unwarranted fears about radiation and to inform the public about the progress we have made in understanding radiation, how it interacts with matter, and the impressive safety record of the various radiation technologies.

SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

The significance of this work to the society at large includes the following

• It will help the masses obtain realistic perspectives on radiation risks, primarily by dispelling unwarranted fears.

• The fear of radiation risks deters some parents from allowing their children pursue careers in medical imaging, therefore I believe this research work will go a long way in discouraging such occurrences.

• This research work will enhance peoples decision making as it will avail the masses proper information on radiation, what it is, the risks involved and its benefits.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

This describes the proposed study design, method of data collection and sources of data, target population and analytical tools

RESEARCH DESIGN

In other to come up with a standard research work, a well planned and systematic approach will have to be adopted. I will use a prospective research design for this work.

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TARGET POPULATION

My target population will majorly be students of higher institution who at least should have a basic knowledge of radiation. Hence, the research will span across two selected institutions in Enugu State, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus. However, more universities can be included if need for a broader data catchment arises.

DATA COLLECTION

Data will be collected using a combination of structured and semi structured questionnaires meticulously mapped for this purpose and randomly distributed within a designated population. These questionnaires would afford the students the opportunity to provide valuable information on their thoughts on radiation, radiography and the health hazards involved in the practice of medical imaging.

From these information, the researcher would be able to understand how the masses perceive the practice of radiography and can now compare it with the actual risks involved in the practice.

ANALYTICAL TOOLS

CONCLUSION

I sincerely believe that after a thorough research approach, I would have produced a standard document that can be referred to or used as a guide in matters concerning radiation, and all false believes about radiation and the practice of medical imaging.

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