Patient-reported perspectives of therapeutic radiographers when undergoing radiotherapy: A European multi-centre study

Angela O'Neill, Ciara Hughes, Patricia Mc Clure, Ms Barbara Barbosa, Mr Kyle Muscat, Celeste Oliveira, Ms Ana Luisa Soares, Sonyia McFadden

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Abstract

Introduction
Radiotherapy is delivered almost exclusively by therapeutic radiographers/radiation therapist (RTTs). Patient's perspectives of RTTs affect levels of trust and confidence in the profession and can have a significant impact on overall radiotherapy experience. The study reports patients' perspectives of RTTs from their experience of undergoing radiotherapy. Four partner sites collaborated in this research and included Malta, Poland, Portugal, and the UK (lead site).
Methods
A survey was developed to gather information from patients receiving radiotherapy or who had had radiotherapy within the previous 24 months. Participants ranked their responses to 23 statements relating to person-centred care on a 5-point scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Mann–Whitney or Kruskal Wallis tests were applied to test differences in responses to 5 key statements for patient characteristics including gender, age group, diagnosis, country, time spent with RTTs and number of fractions remaining at survey completion.
Results
Three hundred and forty-seven surveys are included. Patients report a positive perception of RTTs (95.4% agree with ‘I feel cared for’). Statistically significant differences in responses were found between gender, diagnosis, country, time spent with RTTs and fractions of radiotherapy remaining. Patients who had more time with RTTs and completed their surveys during radiotherapy had a more positive perception of RTTs.
Conclusion
This study suggests that sufficient time with RTTs is key to ensuring a positive radiotherapy patient experience. RTTs being attentive, understanding, and informative are most predictive of a positive overall patient experience. Timing of survey completion can influence responses. Implications for practice. RTT education programmes should incorporate training on person-centred care at all levels. Further research into patient experience of RTTs is warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S32-S39
Number of pages8
JournalRadiography
Volume29
Early online date6 Mar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 6 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was co-funded by the SAFE EUROPE project under the Erasmus+ Sector Skill Alliances programme [Grant Agreement number 2018–2993 600952-EPP-1-2018-1-UK-EPPKA2-SSA-N.]. The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Funding Information:
This work was co-funded by the SAFE EUROPE project under the Erasmus+ Sector Skill Alliances programme [Grant Agreement number 2018–2993 600952-EPP-1-2018-1-UK-EPPKA2-SSA-N.]. The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • Patient perspective
  • patient experience
  • person-centred care
  • patient survey
  • radiotherapy
  • therapeutic radiographer
  • radiation therapist
  • Patient survey
  • Therapeutic radiographer
  • Radiotherapy
  • Radiation therapist
  • Patient experience
  • Person-centred care

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