Pediatric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be stressful. Mock MR scanners have been proven to be effective in avoiding the use of general anesthesia.
We prospectively evaluated the impact of a teddy bear-scale model of a mock MR scanner on the anxiety experienced by parents and their children during MRI without general anesthesia .
Materials and methods
A 1-year prospective study before and after the installation of a mock scanner in a Pediatric Radiology Department of a university hospital. Anxiety levels were self-estimated by children ages 4 to 16 years and by the parents with a visual analogue scale (from 0, completely relaxed, to 100, extremely stressed) at three moments: in the waiting room, in the preparation room after an explanation by the MRI technologists, and at the issue of the MR acquisition images. Two groups were tested: one with a mock MR scanner, the other without. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Fisher exact tests were performed. Motion artifacts were studied.
Ninety-one children and their parents were included. The median age was 8 years (standard deviation [SD]=2). In the post mock period, the ambiance of the preparation room was considered by children as significantly more relaxing in 50% vs. 20% (P=0.004) and the anxiety level of children was significantly lower after the explanation, particularly in girls, but unchanged for their parents. The anxiety levels at the end of the examination were significantly lower for parents. The motion artifacts rate was lower (1.7% vs. 4.7%, P=0.04).
A mock scanner was an efficient tool to improve efficiency of the explanation and to decrease anxiety in children and motion artifacts in pediatric MRI.