Training program impact on thermoplastic immobilization for head and neck radiation therapy

Outhwaite, Julie-Anne, McDowall, Robert, Marquart, Loiuse, Rattray, Gregory, Fielding, Andrew, & Hargrave, Catriona E. (2013) Training program impact on thermoplastic immobilization for head and neck radiation therapy. Radiography, 19(1), pp. 28-34.

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Purpose: To determine whether uniform guidelines and training in the stabilization and formation of thermoplastic shells can improve the reproducibility of set-up for Head and Neck cancer patients.

Methods and materials: Image based measurements of the planning and treatment positions for 35 head and neck cancer patients undergoing radical radiotherapy were analysed to provide a baseline of the reproducibility of thermoplastic immobilization. Radiation therapists (RT) were surveyed to establish a perception of their confidence in thermoplastic procedures. An evidence based staff training program was created and implemented. Set-up reproduction and staff perception were reviewed to measure the impact of the training program.

Results: The mean (SD) 3D vectors of anatomical displacement, measured on the patient images, improved from 4.64 (2.03) for the baseline group compared to 3.02 (1.65) following training (p < 0.01). The proportion of 3D displacements of patient data exceeding 5 mm 3D vector was decreased from 37.1% to 5.7% (p < 0.001) and the 3 mm vector from 85.7% to 42.9% (p < 0.001). The post-training survey scores demonstrated improved confidence in reproducibility of set-up for head and neck patients.

Conclusion: The Thermoplastic Shells Training Program has been found to improve the treatment reproducibility for head and neck radiation therapy patients. Uniform guidelines have increased RT confidence in thermoplastic procedures.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 55076
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Set-up reproducibility, Stabilization, Radiotherapy, Radiation oncology, Evidence based training
DOI: 10.1016/j.radi.2012.09.003
ISSN: 1078-8174
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > ONCOLOGY AND CARCINOGENESIS (111200) > Radiation Therapy (111208)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Elsevier
Deposited On: 22 Nov 2012 22:33
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2013 15:19

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