Assessment of educational needs and factors influencing the level of digital skills of TR/RTTs - a stakeholder perception

B Barbosa, C Oliveira, I Bravo, JG Couto, L Antunes, S McFadden, C Hughes, P McClure, AG Dias

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Introduction In an era of healthcare digitalisation, a high level of digital skills in the professional practice of Therapeutic Radiographers/Radiation Therapists (RT/RTTs) is vital to ensure patient safety and quality of care. This study aimed to assess stakeholders’ perceptions regarding the digital skills of TR/RTTs in Radiotherapy (RT).
Methods Semi-structured focus-groups (n=3 ´ 4) and interviews (n=4) were conducted online via Microsoft Teams with Portuguese RT stakeholders (the most represented country in a previous European survey), using an interview script. Stakeholders (TR/RTTs practitioners, managers, educators, students, professional bodies and software suppliers' representatives) were asked to identify the factors influencing digital skills and suggest ways to improve the less developed skills identified in the previous survey. Interview transcripts were carried out independently and NVivo (v12) was used for thematic analysis. Results In total, 16 RT stakeholders were interviewed and a lower level of digital skills was identified amongst TR/RTTs in the dimensions of “Treatment planning” and “Management and Research”. The lack of: time dedicated to underdeveloped areas within the degree programme, rotation among the professionals in different areas of RT practice, protected time for research, and education modules related to digital skills, were identified as causative factors. A consensus was found regarding developing emerging skills in computer programming, especially in the context of Artificial intelligence tools development.
Conclusion It is necessary to ensure that TR/RTTs develop the essential digital skills that enable them to adopt the best patient care. TR/RTTs’ education must provide them with digital skills training, including specific training in software commonly used in RT and research. Some of these skills can also be reinforced through some forms of continuous professional development programmes. Training in AI is essential for future practice. Lastly, TR/RTTs should gain experience in all areas of RT practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished online - 2 Dec 2022

Publication series

NameThe Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences
PublisherElsevier Inc.
ISSN (Print)1939-8654


  • Therapeutic Radiographers
  • Radiation Therapists
  • Digitalisation
  • Skills
  • Education


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