Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 July 2015
This study was designed to evaluate whether radiographer-led on-treatment review clinics are meeting the wider needs of prostate patients receiving radiotherapy.
Semi-structured interviews were used to elicit patient and staff perspectives. Interviews are used extensively in qualitative research to produce a breadth and depth of insight into participants’ experiences and opinions. Seven patients and two radiographers participated in individual audio-taped interviews. Thematic analysis of the data identified some key themes and their perceived importance within the review service for both patients and staff.
Semi-structured interviews were used to elicit patient and staff views. Several themes emerged from patient and radiographer perspectives. Radiographers and patients both expressed overall satisfaction with the service. Strengths included staff communication, relaxed environment, individualised support, regular information spread throughout the review pathway and consistency in managing acute side effects. Weaknesses included information and communication gaps at the beginning and end of treatment, information inconsistency between staff groups, gaps in specialist knowledge and a possible gap in skills where staff could train as supplementary prescribers.
Interviews produced an in-depth view of patient and staff experiences. Staff and patients identified both strengths and areas for improvement within the local service. Study findings support review radiographers in sourcing additional specialist training and a closer collaboration with other staff groups, which will further develop the service. As a next step, triangulation of research methods with questionnaires could be used to evaluate whether this small sample of patients is characteristic of prostate patients in general.