Background and purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the introduction of alternative on-treatment and post-treatment radiographer-led review clinics in an attempt to protect patients, staff and the public. Pre-COVID, patient reviews were routinely undertaken face-to-face, led by therapeutic review radiographers with advanced practice qualifications and skills in radiotherapy symptom management, triage, referral and support services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, an alternative option has been to follow-up in the form of telephone reviews to reduce face-to-face exposure whilst continuing to manage patient radiotherapy treatment-related toxicities. The aim of the narrative review is to explore the subject of telephone reviews and how therapeutic review radiographers might need to adapt communication skills so that they can continue to effectively assess and manage radiotherapy patient treatment reactions remotely. Method and discussion: A narrative review was conducted using the SCOPUS database and 28 publications were included from 2013 to 2021. The review highlights a paucity of literature exploring specific telephone training for radiographers and other allied healthcare professionals. Experiences within medical and nursing programmes demonstrate that development and integration of training in this area is critical in preparing for patient interaction via telephone. Conclusion and implications for practice: Multiple teaching modalities including simulation are ideal for teaching telephone-specific skills and content, demonstrating improvement in student knowledge, competence and confidence. Less is known regarding whether this knowledge translates to an improved patient experience. Enhancements in education and training, guided by the Health and Care Professions Council, may be warranted to ensure that patients continue to receive the optimal quality of care in a world where remote reviews are likely to become commonplace. Patient-reported outcome measures might be utilized for future training evaluations to ensure that effective patient care is being maintained.
Bibliographical noteFinancial Support
This study received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press.
- Telephone review
- On-treatment review
- on-treatment review
- telephone review