Patient Education

Radiation Therapy Program Patient Education Capstone Project

Overview

The American Cancer Society estimated 1.8 million new cancer cases were diagnosed in 2020 and over half of people diagnosed with cancer receive radiation therapy as a form of treatment. With the prevalence of radiation therapy, patient education is an important component of cancer care and the need for targeted patient education is high.

In 2017, the Radiation Therapy Program implemented the Patient Education Capstone Project into the curriculum to help address gaps in radiation oncology patient education materials, locally and nationally. Second year radiation therapy students are tasked to develop patient centered educational modules, where they apply their education, experience and research of radiation therapy during the process. Projects over the years have garnered immediate attention from various stakeholders who have distributed the materials not only to patients but also to colleagues locally, nationally and internationally. 

Outcomes

  • OHSU Radiation Medicine 3-D Guided Virtual Tour, a virtual tour and educational website, has been requested by the OHSU Department of Radiation Medicine as a tool for their patients and as a resource for recruitment and residency interviews.
  • Radiation Therapy for Mycosis Fungoides, an informational and educational website, has been requested for dissemination by The International Lymphoma Radiation Oncology Group and we have received requests from other physicians to begin distribution to patients.
  • OHSU Department of Radiation Medicine plans on adding all radiation therapy student educational projects and links to their outward facing departmental website for patient and staff use.

Learn more about the target audience and topics below, and click the images to view the websites, videos and brochures.

OHSU Radiation Medicine 3-D Guided Virtual Tour (2020)

Click on image for link to virtual tour

The target audience for this guided tour is a patient preparing for their simulation appointment at the OHSU Department of Radiation Medicine. The educational website guides the patient through a full tour of the department including the front desk, waiting areas, nurses station, examinations rooms, changing area, simulation room, and each treatment vault. Each section includes videos and targeted information pertaining to the designated area.

Radiation Therapy for Mycosis Fungoides (2020)

Click on image for link to website

The target audience for this educational website is a patient with mycosis fungoides who is a candidate for radiation therapy treatments. The website includes information on mycosis fungoides and radiation, an explanation of spot treatments and TSEI, treatment preparation guide, meet the team page, side effect information, FAQ page and resource page. 

Imaging in Radiation Therapy (2019)

Click on image for link to video

The target audience for this educational module is a patient in the early stages of their radiation therapy treatment. The module includes a brief explanation of the treatment room, patient alignment and the purpose of imaging in radiation therapy. Special attention is given to cone beam CT, accuracy, and the dose received from daily imaging.

Preparing Your Child for Radiation Therapy (2019)

Click on image for link to handout

The target audience for the patient informational material is pediatric brain patients preparing for their simulation appointment and their caregivers. For the pediatric patient, included in the materials is an interactive patient roadmap of the mask making process. For caregivers, included in the materials is an informational brochure that provides brief descriptions of the treatment team, the simulation and mask making process, and contact information.

The brochure showcases the information these students created for parents and children.

ABC Breath-Hold (2017)

Click on image for link to video

The target audience for this educational module is a patient with breast cancer who is an ABC breath hold candidate, preparing for their CT/Simulation planning appointment. The module includes a brief explanation of the rational for ABC breath hold treatments, what to expect during a CT/simulation appointment, treatment equipment and devises, patient positioning and special instructions specific for ABC breath hold. Special attention is given to breath hold instructions and procedure and equipment terminology. 

This video has been widely distributed with nearly 13K views on YouTube.