Purpose: Radiotherapy professionals can move across the European Union (EU) and have their qualifications recognised. However, the profession is not regulated at European level, resulting in education programmes that are different from country to country. This study sought to determine the level to which competencies are developed across the EU and which course characteristics affect their level of competency. The study focused on competencies in the linear accelerator. Methodology: A questionnaire was distributed across the EU by professional organisations as part of the SAFE EUROPE project, collecting data regarding radiotherapy programmes (such as academic level and duration). Also, the respondents rated the level of competency of the graduates between 1 (not developed) and 7 (competent) for a total of 63 competencies organised in 14 sections. Statistical tests were used to investigate the relationship between the variables, while statistical models were used to analyse the variables collectively and measure the impact of each variable in the model fit. Results: 89 respondents represented 19 EU countries (25 national programmes). Most programmes are bachelor’s degrees, are dualqualification programmes (in imaging and radiotherapy) and have a 3-year duration. The level of competency varies significantly (p<0.001) between the different competencies analysed in this study. National programmes with an increased programme duration, duration of clinical placements, proportion of course workload and clinical placements dedicated to radiotherapy, are correlated with an increased score for several competencies (p<0.05). Conclusions: Some competencies, which are part of the role of the radiotherapy professionals, are underdeveloped across the EU. These competencies should be integrated into course programmes to ensure graduates can practice safely across the EU. Education programmes should have an adequate course duration and an ample proportion of the course programme and clinical placements dedicated to radiotherapy to achieve satisfactory competency levels to practice radiotherapy.
|Title of host publication||SRM's International Conference on Medical Imaging and Radiotherapy: Book of Abstracts|
|Number of pages||1|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - Feb 2020|
|Event||SRM'S INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MEDICAL IMAGING AND RADIOTHERAPY - Malta, Malta|
Duration: 7 Feb 2020 → 9 Feb 2020
|Conference||SRM'S INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MEDICAL IMAGING AND RADIOTHERAPY|
|Period||7/02/20 → 9/02/20|