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How does fatigue management education impact radiographer competence and confidence in supporting patients during radiotherapy?

  • L. Tolson (a1) and A. Jessop (a2)

Abstract

Aim

The primary outcome of this study is to establish whether fatigue management education impacts on radiographers’ perceived competence and confidence in supporting patients undergoing radiotherapy.

Materials and methods

A single-centre mixed method study was conducted. Participants completed a questionnaire determining baseline fatigue support practice, undertook an education package, then repeated the questionnaire to determine any change in their competence and confidence. Semi-structured interviews were used to gain insight into practice and perceived barriers.

Results

In all, 17 radiographers (100%) participated. Some areas of practice were affected significantly by the education package, namely highlighting the need for training, perceived competence and confidence in providing support, knowledge of effective treatment options and risk factors, the effect of fatigue on the patient and greater agreement that their professional qualification means they are qualified to support patients with fatigue.

Findings

Fatigue management education impacts on radiographers’ perceived competence and confidence in supporting patients during their radiotherapy. Interviews highlighted that knowledge of cancer-related fatigue is built up through day-to-day practice. Although there is greater awareness and support of fatigue, barriers exist, including patient compliance, lack of practical training, provision to monitor patients and unclear referral pathways.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence to: L. Tolson, Radiotherapy Department, Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Combe Park, Bath BA1 3NG, UK. Tel: 01225 824564. E-mail: lisa.tolson@nhs.net

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Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice
  • ISSN: 1460-3969
  • EISSN: 1467-1131
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-radiotherapy-in-practice
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