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Current Oncology is published by MDPI from Volume 28 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher in Open Access under a CC-BY (or CC-BY-NC-ND) licence, and they are hosted by MDPI on mdpi.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Multimed Inc..
Article

Knowledge and Utilization of Palliative Radiotherapy by Pediatric Oncologists

1
Division of Palliative Care, Bruyère Continuing Care, Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital, Ottawa, ON K1N 5C8, Canada
2
Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
3
Division of Radiation Oncology, The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre, Ottawa, ON, Canada
4
Division of Palliative Care, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, ON, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 November 2009 / Revised: 12 December 2009 / Accepted: 8 January 2010 / Published: 1 February 2010
Background and Purpose: Palliative radiotherapy (PRT) is a routine part of oncology care in adult patients, but it is used much less frequently among children with incurable cancer. We surveyed Canadian pediatric oncologists to learn about their knowledge and use of PRT and to identify potential barriers to referral. Methods: A 13-item questionnaire assessing PRT knowledge and utilization was sent to 80 Canadian pediatric oncologists. Results: The survey completion rate was 80%, with most respondents being providers of palliative care for children and making referrals for PRT. Although 62% had received training in radiation oncology, only 28% had received formal palliative care training. Respondents with palliative care training were found to be significantly more knowledgeable about PRT and were more likely to refer children for PRT (p < 0.01). Only 59% of respondents thought that they had adequate knowledge about the indications for PRT. A positive correlation was found between knowledge about the indications for PRT and referral for treatment (p < 0.01). Among survey respondents, 51% believed that PRT was underutilized, and the perceived barriers to prt referral included patient or family reluctance, distance to the cancer centre, belief that PRT has little impact on quality of life, and concerns about toxicity. Conclusions: Palliative radiotherapy is considered to be underutilized among children. This situation appears to be related, in part, to inadequate knowledge and training among pediatric oncologists, suggesting that more emphasis needs to be placed on pediatric palliative care education.
Keywords: pediatric oncology; palliative care; palliative radiotherapy; utilization; barriers; education; survey pediatric oncology; palliative care; palliative radiotherapy; utilization; barriers; education; survey
MDPI and ACS Style

Tucker, T.L.; Samant, R.S.; Fitzgibbon, E.J. Knowledge and Utilization of Palliative Radiotherapy by Pediatric Oncologists. Curr. Oncol. 2010, 17, 48-55. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3747/co.v17i1.460

AMA Style

Tucker TL, Samant RS, Fitzgibbon EJ. Knowledge and Utilization of Palliative Radiotherapy by Pediatric Oncologists. Current Oncology. 2010; 17(1):48-55. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3747/co.v17i1.460

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tucker, T. L., R. S. Samant, and E. J. Fitzgibbon 2010. "Knowledge and Utilization of Palliative Radiotherapy by Pediatric Oncologists" Current Oncology 17, no. 1: 48-55. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3747/co.v17i1.460

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