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The researcher’s centre was in a unique position of merging with another established radiotherapy centre to create a Satellite Site. It was noted that the Satellite Site delivered more fractions per linac within the same working day profile as the Main Site. Subtle differences in the workflows allowed for an appraisal of the processes within a fraction of radiotherapy and how this can be refined to improve efficiency.
Retrospective fraction timings were collected using the Oncology Information System for 98 breast and prostate treatments at both sites. A literature review was also conducted to further explore factors that impact fraction timings in other departments internationally.
Breast and prostate treatments took 2·1 and 2·93 minutes, respectively, longer to deliver at the Main Site. Set-up to the isocentre and verification image assessment took significantly longer in all cases at the Main Site. Literature surrounding efficiency is scarce but suggests methods used for online management of verification imaging significantly impacts appointment times.
Implementation of a paperless workflow and process improvements for image assessment such as introducing a traffic light protocol may reduce the time to deliver a fraction of radiotherapy and maximise service efficiency.
This critical review of the literature seeks to understand the psychological impact that treatment interventions may have on prostate cancer (PC) survivors.
Materials and Methods:
A literature search was conducted using databases of peer-reviewed literature. The search terms used were devised using the building-blocks technique to divide the query into facets. The articles were manually assessed for relevance and appraised using the relevant Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) tool. Government guidelines and regulations were also used following a manual search on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) website. This process resulted in a total of 12 sources being included in the critical review.
The key themes that arose from the review were masculinity, depression, anxiety and psychological implications related to sexual functioning. Psychological impact varies on an individual basis and is influenced by the quality of a patient’s experience during and after treatment in relation to sufficient information giving and support.
Open communication should be encouraged by healthcare professionals to assess patient mental wellbeing. The extent of psychological impact varies on an individual basis; however, there are predictive factors that can make an individual more at risk of being affected psychologically post-PC treatment.
Current literature suggests the information and support needs of oncology patients undergoing radical radiotherapy to the prostate often remain unmet and can impact quality of life. We aimed to explore the effectiveness of delivery and opportunities for service improvement, including a group-based treatment review.
A total of 60 prostate patients completing radical radiotherapy (mean age 70, range 47–79) in a UK cancer-centre completed a self-designed questionnaire assessing information and support. To explore views on a group-based treatment review, 11% took part in a semi-structured interview. Descriptive data were computed and interviews transcribed and analysed thematically.
In all, 87% were satisfied with information and support when delivered by radiographers. However, 26% were only ‘sometimes’ able to complete bladder-filling, suggesting information regarding treatment delays would improve this. In total, 49% preferred both Doctor and Urology nurse reviews whereas 26% preferred nurse only; 70% stated their ‘concerns were always addressed’ by a nurse and 49% by a Doctor. Interviews revealed that a group review was generally acceptable with peer support an influencing factor.
Overall patients felt their needs were being met. Suggestions for improvement (more information on preparation, side effects and delays) will be implemented locally. Future work will explore the feasibility of group reviews in patients undergoing radical radiotherapy to the prostate.
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