Katelyn Williams1, Jenna Blencowe1, Melissa Ind1, David Willis1
1North West Cancer Centre, Johnson Street, Tamworth. NSW. 2340. Katelyn.firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: Misconceptions about Radiotherapy processes can compound the anxiety patients experience at the commencement of treatment. In partnership with patients an information video program was initiated to counter this phenomenon and help patients explain treatment to family and friends. The project was conducted in a regional department where 45% of patients travel more than 100km for care.
Method: Patient consultation and a literature review informed video content. Footage of treatment processes was augmented with 3D software. Videos were produced voluntarily by staff, outside clinical hours with loaned equipment. Patient-approved videos were incorporated in information sessions and made available online and on DVD. An ethics-approved survey was conducted to assess how effectively the videos met patients’ informational needs.
Results: Patient feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Patient engagement permitted iterative improvements and creation of multiple videos. The program received professional recognition for both quality and originality. Surveyed patients reported that the video met one or more of the listed information needs (98% n=60) with 3D software explanations of complex concepts regarded as helpful (85%). Fifty percent credited the videos with reducing anxiety. Patients watched again at home (53%), primarily to explain treatment processes to loved ones (40%).
Discussion: Collaboration and personal commitment to a shared goal has allowed patients and staff to produce high quality information resources with no budget. The 3D visualization software assisted in explaining dosimetry technicalities and treatment delivery in a range of patients. Standardised videos provided efficient and consistent information and permitted subsequent review at home.
Katelyn Williams is a Radiation Therapist with 10 years clinical experience, a Masters in Health Science (Medical Radiation Science) and is currently undertaking a Masters of Health Services Management. She began her career in metropolitan centres, prior to moving to Tamworth in 2013 as part of the Foundation team for region’s first Radiation Therapy service. Katelyn has a strong interest in the use of multimedia in patient information, holding key roles in video project teams in her previous workplace and in Tamworth.