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Environmental sustainability in radiography in low-resource settings: a qualitative study of awareness, practices, and challenges among Zimbabwean and Zambian radiographers

Osward, B., Chinene, B., Mudadi, L-S. , Kafwimbi, S., Nyawani, P., Matika, W., Mushosho, E. Y., Mutandiro, L. & Ohene-Botwe, B. ORCID: 0000-0002-0477-640X (2024). Environmental sustainability in radiography in low-resource settings: a qualitative study of awareness, practices, and challenges among Zimbabwean and Zambian radiographers. Radiography,

Abstract

Introduction: Evidence suggests that radiography activities have a significant impact on the environment. With growing awareness of the negative environmental consequences of radiography services, there is an increasing call for radiographers to adopt sustainable practices. However, little is known about the levels of awareness, current practices, and challenges faced by radiographers working in low-resource settings on this subject. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the awareness, practices, and challenges among Zimbabwean and Zambian radiographers about environmental sustainability in radiography.

Methods: An exploratory descriptive qualitative research design was used in this study. Two focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with 19 purposively sampled participants (N=8 and N=11) in Zimbabwe and Zambia, respectively. The audio recordings were transcribed verbatim and analysed using Braun and Clarke's thematic analysis six-phase framework.

Results: Following thematic data analysis three main themes emerged: awareness of the concept of sustainability among radiographers, sustainability practices in radiography, and challenges of implementing sustainability in radiography. The study found that some radiology departments continue to rely on film-screen imaging systems due to insufficient financial resources to transition to digital imaging systems. Consequently, this constraint emerged as the central obstacle thwarting the implementation of sustainable practices in radiography.

Conclusion: Most radiographers understood the concept of sustainability in radiography; however, they were concerned about the negative impact of radiography practices on the environment and wanted more training and financial support to mitigate this impact. Implications for practice: Environmental sustainability should be integrated into the radiography curriculum and provision of continuing professional development (CPD) to impart radiographers with knowledge and the best practices. Periodical audits should be conducted to monitor sustainable practices and reward deserving radiology departments.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2024. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Publisher Keywords: Climate change, environmental sustainability, radiography, awareness, practice, challenge
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
SWORD Depositor:
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