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Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 9–13 | Cite as

National Survey Among Radiation Oncology Residents Related to Their Needs in Geriatric Oncology

  • Rachel Leifer
  • Bonnie Bristow
  • Martine Puts
  • Shabbir Alibhai
  • Xingshan Cao
  • Barbara-Ann Millar
  • Meredith Giuliani
  • Tina Hsu
  • Maureen Trudeau
  • Rajin Mehta
  • Ines Menjak
  • Mireille Norris
  • Barbara Liu
  • Francois Gallant
  • Ewa SzumacherEmail author
Article

Abstract

Currently, there is no formal curriculum addressing geriatric oncology within Canadian radiation oncology (RO) residency programs. Knowledge related to geriatric medicine may help radiation oncologists modify RT based on frailty status and geriatric considerations. Understanding specific learning needs allow program coordinators to align the current curriculum with residents’ geriatric oncology learning needs. The purpose of this study is to determine the geriatric oncology educational needs of the Canadian RO residents and to inform Canadian RO residency training. A cross-sectional survey, with Likert, multiple choice, and open-ended questions, was pretested and distributed electronically by program directors to Canadian RO residents over 6 weeks. Responses were analyzed with descriptive statistics and common themes. One-hundred and thirty-five Canadian RO residents were contacted and 63 responded (47%). Half (49%) lacked confidence managing the elderly with multiple comorbidities, polypharmacy, functional and cognitive impairment, and challenging social circumstances;73% agreed additional training would be helpful. Forty-four percent lacked confidence regarding psychogeriatric referrals, fall prevention, palliative and hospice care, and community resources preventing re-hospitalization; 63% agreed additional training would be helpful. Seventy-six percent believed discussion groups, continuing education, geriatric oncology electives, and journal clubs would provide learning opportunities. Seventy-one percent agreed integrating geriatric assessment into RO curricula would improve care. Seventy-nine percent believed geriatric oncology principles have not been adequately integrated into radiation oncology curricula. There are significant gaps specific to geriatric assessment and management of older cancer patients in the current Canadian RO curricula. Most residents agreed that it is important to integrate geriatric oncology training to improve and personalize the care of older cancer patients.

Keywords

Radiation oncology Geriatric oncology Education Learning needs Survey 

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Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel Leifer
    • 1
  • Bonnie Bristow
    • 2
  • Martine Puts
    • 3
  • Shabbir Alibhai
    • 4
  • Xingshan Cao
    • 5
  • Barbara-Ann Millar
    • 6
  • Meredith Giuliani
    • 6
  • Tina Hsu
    • 7
  • Maureen Trudeau
    • 8
  • Rajin Mehta
    • 9
  • Ines Menjak
    • 8
  • Mireille Norris
    • 9
  • Barbara Liu
    • 9
  • Francois Gallant
    • 2
  • Ewa Szumacher
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologySunnybrook Odette Cancer CentreTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Radiation TherapySunnybrook Odette Cancer CentreTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Lawrence S Bloomberg Faculty of NursingUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Department of Medicine, UHNUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Sunnybrook Health Sciences CentreTorontoCanada
  6. 6.Department of Radiation OncologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  7. 7.Division of Medical OncologyUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  8. 8.Department of MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  9. 9.Department of Geriatric MedicineSunnybrook Health Sciences CentreTorontoCanada

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