Advanced practice roles of therapeutic radiographers/radiation therapists: A systematic literature review.
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INTRODUCTION: Advances in Radiotherapy (RT) technology and increase of complexity in cancer care have enabled the implementation of new treatment techniques. Subsequently, a greater level of autonomy, responsibility, and accountability in the practice of Therapeutic Radiographers/Radiation Therapists (TR/RTTs) has led to Advanced Practice (AP) roles. The published evidence of this role is scattered with confusing terminology and divergence regarding the perception of whether a specific role represents AP internationally. This study aims to establish an international baseline of evidence on AP roles in RT to identify roles and activities performed by TR/RTTs at advanced level practice and to summarise the impact. METHODS: A systematic PRISMA review of the literature was undertaken. Thematic analysis was used to synthesise the roles and associated activities. Six RT external experts validated the list. The impact was scrutinised in terms of clinical, organisational, and professional outcomes. RESULTS: Studies (n = 87) were included and categorised into four groups. AP roles were listed by clinical area, site-specific, and scope of practice, and advanced activities were organised into seven dimensions and 27 sub-dimensions. Three most-reported outcomes were: enhanced service capacity, higher patient satisfaction, and safety maintenance. CONCLUSION: Evidence-based AP amongst TR/RTTs show how AP roles were conceptualised, implemented, and evaluated. Congruence studies have shown that TR/RTTs are at par with the gold-standard across the various AP roles. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: This is the first systematic literature review synthetisising AP roles and activities of TR/RTTs. This study also identified the main areas of AP that can be used to develop professional frameworks and education guiding policy by professional bodies, educators and other stakeholders.
Advanced practice roles
Allied Health Personnel
RMH Honorary Faculty
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Radiography, 2022, 28 (3), pp. 605 - 619
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