Online group provides support, advice for MRI patients

mri advicePatients set to have an MRI scan now have access to a network of encouragement and advice with the new MRI Support Community Facebook group.

The group, which is open to anyone and everyone who wants to discuss having an MRI scan, was created by Newcastle Clinic after witnessing an outpouring of comments on social media posts in relation to MRI scans.

An MRI is often a stressful experience for patients: not only because it may be checking for illness like cancer, but also because many people fear ‘the tunnel.’ Traditional MRI scanners have an enclosed tube and a small opening, creating a claustrophobic environment. In fact, 45 per cent of people surveyed said that an enclosed MRI was ‘their worst nightmare.’ 25 per cent also said that they’d rather leave a medical condition undiagnosed than undergo frightening tests like enclosed MRI scans.

Newcastle Clinic is on a mission to ensure all patients requiring MRI scans receive vital health checks. We created the MRI Support Community group so that patients feeling anxious about a upcoming MRI scan can request advice, support and praise from others who have been through a similar experience.

Of course, we also offer open MRI scanning, which has proven much less stressful for many patients.

The feedback received on Facebook reflects the benefits of the open scanner, with many patients sharing details of their experience. A large percentage of patients offering feedback have said that they couldn’t withstand an appointment in a standard MRI scanner, but then are able to complete their scan in the open MRI scanner.

mri with pillow

So far, the discussion in the MRI Support Community group has focused on advice for staying calm during an MRI scan. Some of the contributions have been:

  • Wear an eye mask or keep eyes closed to avoid seeing the inside of the scanner.
  • Ask to go in feet-first.
  • Request sedatives to take prior to the scan.
  • Get in the right mindset and remind yourself that it’s vital for your health to make it through the scan.
  • Bring a family member or friend with you, if possible.
  • Listen to music and even bring your own music with you.
  • Imagine being on a beach!

It’s wonderful to see a network of patients who can support and praise each other, and we welcome anyone to join the group, which can be found here:

Please get in touch if you have any questions about the MRI Support Community or about having an open MRI scanner.


Newcastle Clinic’s open MRI scanner is twice the width of a standard MRI scanner, has no enclosed tube and is much quieter than a traditional scanner. Patients can bring along a family memver or friend to hold their hand throughout the duration of their MRI scan, and can choose their music of choice to listen to. Newcastle Clinic can accept NHS referrals for patients who are claustrophobic or obese, and also accept self-funding patients who prefer a more comfortable atmosphere.