The role of radiotherapy patients in provision of student interpersonal skills feedback

Bridge, P., Pirihi, C., & Carmichael, M. (2014) The role of radiotherapy patients in provision of student interpersonal skills feedback. Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice, 13(02), pp. 141-148.

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At Queensland University of Technology, student radiation therapists receive regular feedback from clinical staff relating to clinical interpersonal skills. Although this is of great value, there is anecdotal evidence that students communicate differently with patients when under observation.


The aim of this pilot was to counter this perceived observer effect by allowing patients to provide students with additional feedback.

Materials and methods

Radiotherapy patients from two departments were provided with anonymous feedback forms relating to aspects of student interpersonal skills. Clinical assessors, mentors and students were also provided with feedback forms, including questions about the role of patient feedback. Patient perceptions of student performance were correlated with staff feedback and assessment scores.


Results indicated that the feedback was valued by both students and patients. Students reported that the additional dimension focused them on communication, set goals for development and increased motivation. These changes derived from both feedback and study participation, suggesting that the questionnaires could be a useful teaching tool. Patients scored more generously than mentors, although there was agreement in relative grading.


The anonymous questionnaire is a convenient and valuable method of gathering patient feedback on students. Future iterations will determine the optimum timing for this method of feedback.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
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33 since deposited on 18 Aug 2014
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ID Code: 75200
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Education, Feedback, Mixed Methods, Patient, Student
DOI: 10.1017/S1460396913000290
ISSN: 1467-1131
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > ONCOLOGY AND CARCINOGENESIS (111200) > Radiation Therapy (111208)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Cambridge University Press
Deposited On: 18 Aug 2014 05:38
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2015 00:15

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