Advanced practice roles amongst therapeutic radiographers/radiation therapists: A European survey

Oliveira, C., Barbosa, B., Couto, J.G., Bravo, I., Hughes, C., McFadden, S., Khine, Ricardo and McNair, H.A. (2023) Advanced practice roles amongst therapeutic radiographers/radiation therapists: A European survey. Radiography, 29 (2). pp. 261-273. ISSN 10788174

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Introduction Advanced Practice (AP) roles in Radiotherapy (RT) over time are variable, often locally developed and not underpinned by professional standards which leads to conceptual and practical gaps. This study aimed to assess AP roles amongst Therapeutic Radiographers/Radiation Therapists (TR/RTTs) and identify educational gaps for this level across Europe. Methods An anonymous online survey was designed, validated, and distributed across Europe. Convenience sampling was used to recruit advanced TR/RTTs practitioners or TR/RTTs working in AP roles. Descriptive analysis from closed questions and thematic analyses from open questions are reported. Results A total of 272 responses were obtained, of which 189 eligible participations were from 21 European countries. 42% of respondents acknowledged additional education required to perform AP, and 25% reported a minimum of five years of RT practice to perform AP roles/tasks. There is a trend to work more on the clinical practice domain with a low percentage of working time allocated to research. Inconsistency was found in job titles, scopes of practice, and educational backgrounds across and even within countries. Education needs regarding knowledge about image-guided and adaptive RT, multimodal imaging and technologies, and advanced treatment planning were found. Training needs on leadership and management skills and clinical site-specific expertise were identified. Conclusion This study clearly shows a gap in education support, a need for standardisation in job titles and scopes of practice across Europe. Implications for practice As the first large-scale assessment of current AP roles and educational support amongst TR/RTTs across Europe, this study recommends the establishment of governance structure and role regulation. It also informs the curricula for master programmes to align the education with current and future practice.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Advanced practice roles, Therapeutic radiographer, Radiation therapist, Education, Europe
Depositing User: RED Unit Admin
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2023 09:30
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2023 09:30

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