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An evaluation of support of patients with prostate cancer during and beyond radiotherapy treatment. A local perspective on future provision

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 July 2015

Alison Mary Ormerod*
Affiliation:
Northamptonshire Centre for Oncology, Northampton General Hospital, Northampton, Northants, UK
Anne J. Jessop
Affiliation:
Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK
*
Correspondence to: A. M. Ormerod, Oncology & Haematology Department, Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, Hants PO6 3LY, UK. Tel: +0 239 228 6000, ext 4467. E-mail: alison.ormerod@porthosp.nhs.uk

Abstract

Purpose

This study was designed to evaluate whether radiographer-led on-treatment review clinics are meeting the wider needs of prostate patients receiving radiotherapy.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusion

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.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
© Cambridge University Press 2015 

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