Community-acquired pneumonia – use of chest x-rays for diagnosis in family practice

Sophia Eilat-Tsanani, Carmel Kasher, Hana Levine-Kremer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: According to guidelines, the diagnosis of pneumonia should be confirmed by chest x-ray, ensuring appropriate management and wise use of antibiotics. Our study aimed to describe use of x-rays by family doctors and patients following diagnosis of pneumonia in primary care practices in the north of Israel. Methods: This was a retrospective database study including adults diagnosed with pneumonia, assessing rates of referral and actual use of chest x-rays. We examined rates of referral for chest x-rays and rates of adherence to the referral, according to age, gender, smoking status, comorbidities and distance of residence from the radiology facility. Results: During one year there were 4,230 diagnosed cases of pneumonia in the practice, of which 2,503 were referred for chest x-rays, and 1,920 adhered to the referral (45% of those diagnosed with pneumonia). The rate of referral was higher when the radiology facility was located in the same city as the family doctor compared to outside the city (69.7% and 53.2%, p < 0.001). Patients aged 40–64 were referred more than patients aged 18–39 or 65+ (61.5% vs. 56.5% and 58.3%, p = 0.03). Actual use of chest x-rays (considering both referral and adherence) was more likely when the radiology facility was in the same health centre or city than when it was outside the city [OR = 2.4; 95% CI: 2.1–2.8]; patients aged 65 + or 40–64 were more likely to adhere to the referral for x-ray than those aged 18–39 [OR = 1.3; 95% CI: 1.1–1.6, OR = 1.2; 95% CI: 1.0–1.4, respectively]. Conclusion: Accessibility of radiology facilities seems to be an important factor associated with both doctors’ decisions and patients’ adherence to the referral for chest x-rays.

Original languageEnglish
Article number271
JournalBMC Primary Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Accessibility
  • Family practice
  • Periphery
  • Pneumonia
  • x-rays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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