Establishing research priorities for Australian radiation therapists: what patient care priorities need to be addressed?
Article first published online: 15 AUG 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
European Journal of Cancer Care
Volume 21, Issue 1, pages 31–40, January 2012
How to Cite
HALKETT, G.K.B., COX, J., ANDERSON, C. and HEARD, R. (2012), Establishing research priorities for Australian radiation therapists: what patient care priorities need to be addressed?. European Journal of Cancer Care, 21: 31–40. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2354.2011.01276.x
- Issue published online: 19 DEC 2011
- Article first published online: 15 AUG 2011
- Accepted 9 May 2011
- radiation therapist;
- radiotherapy technologist;
- research priorities;
- patient care;
HALKETT G.K.B., COX J., ANDERSON C. & HEARD R. (2012) European Journal of Cancer Care21, 31–40. Establishing research priorities for Australian radiation therapists: what patient care priorities need to be addressed?
Much of the research conducted in radiotherapy focuses on technology advances; however, research may also be warranted in the area of patient care. The aims of this paper are to (1) identify patient care-related research priorities in radiation therapy and (2) describe similarities and differences in radiation therapists' responses to research priorities related to patient care by subgroups revealed through cluster analysis. A Delphi process was used, examining problems in research that radiation therapists face. Three hundred and seventy-four problems were identified. These were translated into 53 research areas which were then prioritised. Participant subgroups were identified using a hierarchical cluster procedure. Agreement and disagreement between subgroups for the subscale of ‘Patient Care’ were analysed with ANOVA and post hoc Scheffe multiple comparisons. The three subgroups had varying degrees of research interest in patient care. The groups agreed on the importance of research in relation to patient care in reducing and managing side effects, patient education and support, and treatment techniques. However, there was disagreement about the importance of conducting research into the role of radiation therapists, radiation therapists communicating and educating patients, and psychosocial support. Further research is warranted to determine radiotherapy patients' priorities and improve evidence-based practice.