Room: ePoster Forums
Purpose: To create, implement, and evaluate a patient education class for those undergoing radiation therapy. Goals for the class were to clarify expectations, ensure understanding of care, give some insight into the technical aspects of the process, introduce the professionals involved, and to answer questions. The department aimed to increase patient satisfaction, comfort, and compliance.
Methods: A physicist, the chief therapist, and the department manager began by discussing how to survey the departmentâ€™s patients to discover what areas most need addressing. A class was then developed which would be delivered by a physicist and a therapist using PowerPoint in a relaxed classroom environment. The class was reviewed by department physicians, nurses, and therapists before a final version was decided upon. At the end of the class a survey was delivered before proceeding with a department tour to evaluate the efficacy of the course and to identify areas to improve. This class is delivered once per week and attendance is maintained by scheduling patients for simulation and the class at the time of consult.
Results: On a 5-level Likert scale before class implementation patients were asked if they were satisfied with their ability to navigate our cancer center, familiarity with who works in our department, and their understanding of the radiation oncology process and their care. After receiving the class, patients understanding of their care increased, familiarity with the care team improved, but patients continued to have difficulty navigating despite a new map and the class tour. Department staff reported improvements in compliance.
Conclusion: It is feasible and appreciated by patients to develop and implement an education course in a radiation oncology department at a community cancer center. The class, once delivered, is shown to improve areas of patient concerns prior to first treatment resulting in increased perceived comfort and compliance.