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Evaluating Canadian radiation therapists’ and UK therapeutic radiographers’ experiences and opinions of a safety strap to secure patients during radiotherapy

Judge, Annabelle, Feuz, Carina, Evans, David and Courtier, Nicholas 2020. Evaluating Canadian radiation therapists’ and UK therapeutic radiographers’ experiences and opinions of a safety strap to secure patients during radiotherapy. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences 51 (3) , pp. 436-442. 10.1016/j.jmir.2020.05.006

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Introduction A serious patient safety incident at a cancer centre in Ontario, Canada, saw a patient fall from an elevated treatment couch. A regional investigation recommended the use of a securing safety strap. The authors evaluate the value of the strap through the experiences of the radiation therapists’ who use it. A secondary aim is to explore the potential for using a securing safety strap with UK therapeutic radiographers. Methods A two-stage design was guided by an evidence-based practice framework. Stage one used a questionnaire to capture treating radiation therapists’ experiences and opinions of the strap at a single cancer centre. Quantitative data were analysed descriptively and free-text data via a content analysis. Stage two used semistructured interviews with thematic analysis to explore views of three UK therapeutic radiographers. Results Twenty-five of approximately 130 eligible staff responded to the Canadian questionnaire. Of the respondents, 24% (n = 6) ‘strongly disagreed’, 28% (n = 7) ‘agreed’ and 48% (n = 12) ‘neither agreed nor disagreed’ that they would recommend the strap to other departments. Most of the respondents think strap use should be at the staffs' discretion, with patients with dementia/cognitive impairment ranked as the group benefiting most. Ninety-two percent (n = 23) of respondents confirmed that patients sometimes refuse the strap. Themes arising from stage two interviews are as follows: patient benefit (use for select patients only); patient safety versus control (restraint); and practical implementation issues. Conclusion The policy of universal use of the strap should be reviewed. Those who use it are equivocal about its value and feel it should be reserved for select patients at the treating professional's discretion. Full evaluation of the effectiveness and acceptability of the device for different patients may promote both staff enthusiasm towards the device and evidence-based practice. Adequate resources are required to evaluate implementation of such safety initiatives.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1939-8654
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 May 2020
Date of Acceptance: 21 May 2020
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2021 02:08

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