Department of Radiation Oncology, Sydney Cancer Centre, Royal Prince Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
High-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy is an invasive and anxiety-provoking procedure. We sought to determine the subjective experience of patients undergoing inpatient treatment.
Men undergoing HDR prostate brachytherapy at Royal Prince Alfred and St George Hospitals were invited to complete a questionnaire (the Prostate Brachytherapy Questionnaire) for 3 days to assess their perceptions and attitudes during the brachytherapy treatment.
Fifty-eight eligible men participated. The aspects rated that the most troublesome were "being stuck in bed" and "discomfort," with mean scores (0-10) over 3 days of 4.2 and 3.8, respectively; 44% and 34% of men rated these aspects of the procedure as severe (score 7 or more) at any time. The whole experience was rated as mildly troublesome (mean score over 3 days=3.2). The overall experience was rated better than expected by most men (60%), and only 9% found it worse than expected.
By using the Prostate Brachytherapy Questionnaire, the patients provided our centers with subjective feedback of the procedure from a consumer's perspective, enabling us to customize and enhance current educational interventions before treatment, to provide patients with a better understanding of the treatment experience, and to ensure continued support for the patients. These results have prompted us to modify the HDR boost to two fractions, and, at one of the centers, to perform them on an outpatient basis.
Hruby G, Chen JY, Bucci J, Loadsman JA, Perry P, Stockler MR. Are you the author?
Reference: Brachytherapy. 2011 Feb 22. Epub ahead of print.