Structured reporting of head and neck ultrasound examinations

  • Background: Reports of head and neck ultrasound examinations are frequently written by hand as free texts. Naturally, quality and structure of free text reports is variable, depending on the examiner’s individual level of experience. Aim of the present study was to compare the quality of free text reports (FTR) and structured reports (SR) of head and neck ultrasound examinations. Methods: Both standard FTRs and SRs of head and neck ultrasound examinations of 43 patients were acquired by nine independent examiners with comparable levels of experience. A template for structured reporting of head and neck ultrasound examinations was created using a web-based approach. FTRs and SRs were evaluated with regard to overall quality, completeness, required time to completion, and readability by four independent raters with different specializations (Paired Wilcoxon test, 95% CI) and inter-rater reliability was assessed (Fleiss’ kappa). A questionnaire was used to compare FTRs vs. SRs with respect to user satisfaction (Mann-Whitney U test, 95% CI). Results: By comparison, completeness scores of SRs were significantly higher than FTRs’ completeness scores (94.4% vs. 45.6%, p < 0.001), and pathologies were described in more detail (91.1% vs. 54.5%, p < 0.001). Readability was significantly higher in all SRs when compared to FTRs (100% vs. 47.1%, p < 0.001). The mean time to complete a report, however, was significantly higher in SRs (176.5 vs. 107.3 s, p < 0.001). SRs achieved significantly higher user satisfaction ratings (VAS 8.87 vs. 1.41, p < 0.001) and a very high inter-rater reliability (Fleiss’ kappa 0.92). Conclusions: As compared to FTRs, SRs of head and neck ultrasound examinations are more comprehensive and easier to understand. On the balance, the additional time needed for completing a SR is negligible. Also, SRs yield high inter-rater reliability and may be used for high-quality scientific data analyses.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Author:Benjamin P. Ernst, Mohamed Hodeib, Sebastian Strieth, Julian Künzel, Fabian Bischof, Berit Hackenberg, Tilmann Huppertz, Veronika Weber, Katharina Bahr, Jonas Eckrich, Jan Hagemann, Matthias Engelbarts, Matthias F. Fröhlich, Philipp Solbach, Richard LinkeGND, Christoph Matthias, Wieland H. Sommer, Sven BeckerORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):BMC Medical Imaging
Publisher:BioMed Central
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2019/03/27
Date of first Publication:2019/03/27
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2020/10/29
Tag:Head and neck Cancer; Lymphadenopathy; Salivary gland diseases; Structured reporting; Ultrasonography
Page Number:7
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0