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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The influence of the prospective outcomes and support initiatives (POSI) on the radiation therapist's role in clinical practice Dattadeen, Tracey-Ann


Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are defined as any report coming directly from the patient about a health condition and its treatment using a self-reported measure. The Prospective Outcomes and Support Initiative (POSI) is an initiative of BC Cancer that drives the provincial coordination of PRO data collection to create system improvements in clinical care processes. This study focuses on the influence of POSI on the role of the radiation therapist (RT) in clinical practice. Fifteen (15) RTs were recruited through POSI team leadership from 6 different BC Cancer sites. Semi-structured telephone interviews were the primary method of data collection, and interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. The data obtained were analyzed using the software NVIVO and guided by constant comparative methods. Three overarching themes described RT's perspectives on the ways in which POSI influenced their role as a healthcare provider. The first theme that emerged was that RT’s did not perceive POSI as influencing their radiation therapist role. The second theme described how POSI influenced the RT’s caring role through communication. Specifically, POSI enhanced the patient-provider relationship, provided a process through which to educate and advise patients, and the opportunity to address patient questions and/or priorities that they would not otherwise. The third theme portrayed ways in which POSI impeded the RTs ability to perform their usual work by creating extra workload. While the first theme suggests that POSI had minimal influence, the other two themes indicate that POSI influenced the RT-Patient interaction and hence, the overall patient experience during their cancer radiation treatments. POSI can both positively and negatively influence the RT's role in clinical practice. Nonetheless, maximizing the benefits of POSI so as to improve patient care will require concerted efforts to reduce the barriers to administration. Furthermore, creating opportunities for RTs to interact regularly with patients through POSI administration, has the potential to greatly improve the caring role of the RT in clinical practice.

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