Supporting and preparing patients for radiotherapy: Patients’ and radiation therapists’ perspectives on their one-to-one consultations

Georgia K. B. Halkett, Susan Merchant, Sian K Smith, Moira O'Connor, Michael Jefford, Sanchia Aranda, Penelope Schofield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)
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Objective: Patients are often anxious and lack knowledge of radiotherapy prior to
commencing treatment. Evidence-based interventions are required to reduce patient
anxiety and increase patient preparation before treatment. This study is part of a
larger project examining the effectiveness of an innovative preparatory intervention
“RT Prepare,” to reduce patient psychological distress prior to treatment for breast
cancer. This study aimed to explore patients’ and RTs’ perceptions about the “RT
Prepare” intervention and was conducted to assist with refinement of the intervention
for future implementation.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients and radiation
therapists (RTs) to elicit their perspectives on the “RT Prepare” intervention.
Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.
Results: Telephone interviews were conducted with 21 patients who had received
the intervention and 15 RTs who had delivered the intervention. Patients and RTs described
the intervention positively and highlighted that it was beneficial for preparing
patients for treatment planning and treatment. The overarching themes were communication
skills; preparation; information provision and dedicated space and time.
Conclusion: RT Prepare was well received by patients and RTs. Practice implications
Based on the results of this study and our quantitative findings, implementation of
the intervention would be beneficial for both patients and RTs.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13284
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Issue number6
Early online date13 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020


  • cancer communication
  • communication skills training
  • patient anxiety
  • patient perspective
  • patient preparation for radiotherapy
  • radiation therapists
  • radiotherapy education
  • Sustainability
  • health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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