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Recommendations on patient-facing websites regarding diagnostic imaging for low back, knee, and shoulder pain: A scoping review

Cuff, Andrew, Jesson, Thomas, Yeowell, Gillian, Dikomitis, Lisa, Foster, Nadine E., Littlewood, Chris (2022) Recommendations on patient-facing websites regarding diagnostic imaging for low back, knee, and shoulder pain: A scoping review. PEC Innovation, 1 . Article Number 100040. ISSN 2772-6282. (doi:10.1016/j.pecinn.2022.100040) (KAR id:100045)


Objective: To describe and synthesise the content of public-facing websites regarding the use of diagnostic imaging for adults with lower back pain, knee, and shoulder pain.

Methods: Scoping review conducted in accordance with PRISMA guidance. A Google search was performed to identify public-facing websites that were either United Kingdom-based, or National Health Service affiliated. The DISCERN tool was used to appraise website quality before information regarding the use of imaging was synthesised using thematic analysis.

Results: Eighty-six websites were included, with 48 making reference to the use of imaging. The information within the majority (n = 43) of public-facing websites aligns with best available evidence. Where there is inconsistency, this may be explained by lower website quality. Three themes were apparent regarding the use of imaging – imaging to inform diagnosis and management; imaging in context; patient experience and expectations.

Conclusion: The recommendations and rationale for use of imaging contained within public-facing websites does not appear to justify the increase in imaging rates for musculoskeletal pain in the UK.

Innovation: Publicly available information following a novel search strategy, is largely aligned with best evidence, further understanding is required to determine reasons for requesting imaging from a patient and clinician perspective.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.pecinn.2022.100040
Uncontrolled keywords: Shoulder Pain, Low Back Pain, Knee Pain, Diagnostic Imaging, Public-facing websites
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Kent and Medway Medical School
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Manfred Gschwandtner
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2023 12:07 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2023 09:49 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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