Radiation therapy students′ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about palliative and end-of-life care for cancer patients

FEUZ, Carina, ROSEWALL, Tara and WILLIS, Susan (2015). Radiation therapy students′ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about palliative and end-of-life care for cancer patients. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, 46 (3), 271-279.

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Official URL: http://ac.els-cdn.com/S1939865415001885/1-s2.0-S19...
Link to published version:: 10.1016/j.jmir.2015.06.001


Background and Purpose Although radiation therapy students are highly interested in providing palliative and end-of-life care (PEOLC), students often lack understanding of what palliative care is and express a lack of confidence when interacting with palliative patients. This study examined radiation therapy students' existing knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs toward PEOLC for cancer patients and how professional and personal experiences influenced those factors. Methods This study used a cross-sectional online questionnaire. After informed consent, data were collected from a sample of students in an undergraduate radiation therapy program in Canada. Questions were both quantitative and qualitative in nature. Responses were comprised of Likert scales and true or false responses, a case study-based vignette and several short open-ended questions. Results Sixty-one students completed the questionnaire; the response rate was 42%. Responses indicate students had an incomplete understanding of PEOLC principles despite reporting positive views and interest in the topic. Professional and personal experiences improved students' knowledge regarding the role of PEOLC and attitudes and beliefs became more positive with increased real-life experiences. Conclusions Experiential learning influences students' knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about PEOLC. To better prepare students for their future professional roles, it is necessary for radiation therapy undergraduate programs to include PEOLC educational initiatives in its curricula. These initiatives should emphasize holistic care to prepare students to be competent radiation therapists who can address patients' complex PEOLC needs.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jmir.2015.06.001
Depositing User: Margaret Boot
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2016 13:23
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2016 13:23
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12918

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