How do you explain radiotherapy?

2015-06-05_55717ec1c6baa_logo.jpgWhat did the project involve? With improvement of public knowledge of radiotherapy, the team felt that if patients had a more thorough understanding of the processes and issues then they may be more compliant to instructions and have reduced anxiety regarding treatment.

PEARLTM, the newest product from the makers of VERTTM, is a Patient Education And Radiotherapy Learning computer software programme, designed to explain and demonstrate treatment, its mechanics, sounds and effects to give patients a better understanding of radiotherapy. A core team of radiographers was formed of varying grades, and ‘roadshows’ were planned, posters were created and positioned at key points around the department, and ‘free text’ feedback forms created.

How does it improve patient care? PEARLTM can be used at any point on the patient pathway and drop-in sessions for patients at varying stages to begin with are beneficial, however, as our initial roadshows have demonstrated the majority of patients would benefit from demonstrations at the beginning of their treatment. All patients except one were enamoured with PEARLTM and wished the demonstration had been before they started  treatment. The patient who was not, was at the time struggling psychologically with treatment.

Shared learning PEARLTM is a commercially available PC-based tool that provides a realistic and functional 3D model of a Linear Accelerator and, using a Dicom interface, can visualise radiotherapy treatment plans. The roadshow has enabled us to upload radiotherapy treatment plans from patients who thought PEARLTM was really good and offered the use of their own plans thus enabling us to build a library of our standard radiotherapy treatment techniques.

Project leads Michelle Hughes (Macmillan patient information and support radiographer) and Victoria Sykes (team leader radiographer), Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Find out more For more information, email [email protected] or call 01482 461210
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