Now showing 1 - 10 of 20
  • Publication
    Exploring the translational challenge for medical applications of ionising radiation and corresponding radiation protection research
    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-03-18) ; ; ;
    Background: Medical applications of ionising radiation and associated radiation protection research often encounter long delays and inconsistent implementation when translated into clinical practice. A coordinated effort is needed to analyse the research needs for innovation transfer in radiation-based high-quality healthcare across Europe which can inform the development of an innovation transfer framework tailored for equitable implementation of radiation research at scale. Methods: Between March and September 2021 a Delphi methodology was employed to gain consensus on key translational challenges from a range of professional stakeholders. A total of three Delphi rounds were conducted using a series of electronic surveys comprised of open-ended and closed-type questions. The surveys were disseminated via the EURAMED Rocc-n-Roll consortium network and prominent medical societies in the field. Approximately 350 professionals were invited to participate. Participants’ level of agreement with each generated statement was captured using a 6-point Likert scale. Consensus was defined as median ≥ 4 with ≥ 60% of responses in the upper tertile of the scale. Additionally, the stability of responses across rounds was assessed. Results: In the first Delphi round a multidisciplinary panel of 20 generated 127 unique statements. The second and third Delphi rounds recruited a broader sample of 130 individuals to rate the extent to which they agreed with each statement as a key translational challenge. A total of 60 consensus statements resulted from the iterative Delphi process of which 55 demonstrated good stability. Ten statements were identified as high priority challenges with ≥ 80% of statement ratings either ‘Agree’ or ‘Strongly Agree’. Conclusion: A lack of interoperability between systems, insufficient resources, unsatisfactory education and training, and the need for greater public awareness surrounding the benefits, risks, and applications of ionising radiation were identified as principal translational challenges. These findings will help to inform a tailored innovation transfer framework for medical radiation research.
      130Scopus© Citations 1
  • Publication
    The risk of burnout in academic radiographers during the COVID-19 pandemic
    Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic created major challenges across society, healthcare provision and also for those delivering healthcare education programmes. Clinical placements were disrupted and, in many incidences cancelled. Higher education institutions were required to move completely to online delivery methods with little notice. This created significant additional workload, stress and the need to learn new skills at a time of great uncertainty. This study explored the risks of burnout in academic radiographers during the first 12 months of the pandemic. Methods: A survey was circulated using SurveyMonkey™ via personal, national and international networks, including the European Federation of Radiographer Societies (EFRS), to reach as many academic radiographers as possible. Disengagement and exhaustion were measured using the Oldenburg burnout inventory. Descriptive statistics and a one-way ANOVA were used to analyse the quantitative data using STATA V16 (Statacorp, TA). Results: 533 academic radiographers responded to the survey from 43 different countries. Mean disengagement was in the medium range and exhaustion was high for the total dataset. In a subset of countries with 10 or more responses, there was significant variation between countries, with the UK having highest mean exhaustion score and the UK, Ireland and France sharing the highest mean disengagement score. In the total dataset, 86% agreed workload had increased during the pandemic and 35% had considered leaving academia in the last year. Conclusion: These data demonstrate the stark reality of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on academic radiographers’ workload, wellbeing, and intention to leave their roles. Implications for practice: COVID-19 has had a significant impact on academic radiographers and this study highlights the urgent need for remedial measures to better support academic radiographers in order to ensure a sufficient, and sustainable workforce.
      64Scopus© Citations 3
  • Publication
    Research ethics training, challenges, and suggested improvements across Europe: Radiography research ethics standards for Europe (RRESFE)
    Introduction: The Radiography Research Ethics Standards for Europe (RRESFE) project aimed to provide a cross-sectional view of the current state of radiography research ethics across Europe. This included investigating education and training in research ethics, and identifying the key challenges and potential improvements associated with using existing research ethics frameworks. Methods: This cross-sectional online survey targeting radiography researchers in Europe was conducted between April 26 and July 12, 2021. Descriptive and analytical statistics were used to identify research ethics education and training trends. Content analysis of qualitative responses was employed to identify significant challenges and proposed improvements in research ethics frameworks of practice. Results: There were 232 responses received across 33 European countries. Most (n = 132; 57%) respondents had received some research ethics training; however, fewer participants had received training on safeguarding vulnerable patients (n = 72; 38%), diversity and inclusivity (n = 62; 33%), or research with healthy volunteers (n = 60; 32%). Training was associated with a greater perceived importance of the need for research ethics review (p = 0.031) and with the establishment of EQF Level 6 training (p = 0.038). The proportion of formally trained researchers also varied by region (p = <0.001). Time-to-ethics-approval was noted as the biggest challenge for professionals making research ethics applications. Conclusion: Early and universal integration of research-oriented teaching within the radiography education framework which emphasises research ethics is recommended. Additionally, study findings suggest research ethics committee application and approval processes could be further simplified and streamlined. Implications for practice: The survey contributes to a growing body of knowledge surrounding the importance of education and training in research ethics for assuring a high standard of research outputs in Radiography and has identified hurdles to obtaining research ethics approval for further investigation and address.
      95Scopus© Citations 1
  • Publication
    Education and training in radiation protection in Europe: an analysis from the EURAMED rocc-n-roll project
    Background: A Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis was performed to understand the status quo of education and training in radiation protection (RP) and to develop a coordinated European approach to RP training needs based on stakeholder consensus and existing activities in the field. Fourteen team members represented six European professional societies, one European voluntary organisation, two international healthcare organisations and five professions, namely: Medical Physicists; Nuclear Medicine Physicians; Radiologists; Radiation Oncologists and Radiographers. Four subgroups analysed the “Strengths”, “Weaknesses”, “Opportunities” and “Threats” related to E&T in RP developed under previous European Union (EU) programmes and on the Guidelines on Radiation Protection Education and Training of Medical Professionals in the EU. Results: Consensus agreement identified four themes for strengths and opportunities, namely: (1) existing structures and training recommendations; (2) RP training needs assessment and education & training (E&T) model(s) development; (3) E&T dissemination, harmonisation, and accreditation; (4) financial supports. Weaknesses and Threats analysis identified two themes: (1) awareness and prioritisation at a national/global level and (2) awareness and prioritisation by healthcare professional groups and researchers. Conclusions: A lack of effective implementation of RP principles in daily practice was identified. EuRnR strategic planning needs to consider processes at European, national and local levels. Success is dependent upon efficient governance structures and expert leadership. Financial support is required to allow the stakeholder professional agencies to have sufficient resources to achieve a pan European radiation protection training network which is sustainable and accredited across multiple national domains.
      131Scopus© Citations 1
  • Publication
    Paediatric CT optimisation utilising Catphan® 600 and age-specific anthropomorphic phantoms
    The purpose of the study is to perform phantom-based optimisation of paediatric computed tomography (CT) protocols and quantify the impact upon radiation dose and image noise levels. The study involved three Portuguese paediatric centres. Currently employed scanning protocols for head and chest examinations and combinations of exposure parameters were applied to a Catphan®600 phantom to review the CT dose impact. Contrast–noise ratio (CNR) was quantified using Radia Diagnostic® tool. Imaging parameters, returning similar CNRs (<1) and dose savings were applied to three paediatric anthropomorphic phantoms. OsiriX software based on standard deviation pixel values facilitated image noise analysis. Currently employed protocols and age categorisation varied between centres. Manipulation of exposure parameters facilitated mean dose reductions of 33 and 28 % for paediatric head and chest CT examinations, respectively. The majority of the optimised CT examinations resulted in image noise similar to currently employed protocols. Dose reductions of up to 33 % were achieved with image quality maintained.
      510Scopus© Citations 5
  • Publication
    Education and training in radiation protection in Europe: results from the EURAMED Rocc-n-Roll project survey
    Purpose: To analyse the existing radiation protection (RP) education and training (E&T) capabilities in the European Union and identify associated needs, problems and challenges. Method: An online survey was disseminated via the EURAMED Rocc-n-Roll consortium network and prominent medical societies in the field of radiological research. The survey sections analyse the RP E&T during undergraduate, residency/internship and continuous professional development; RP E&T problems and legal implementation. Differences were analysed by European geographic regions, profession, years of professional experience and main area of practice/research. Results: The majority of the 550 respondents indicated that RP topics are part of undergraduate curricula in all courses for their profession and country (55%); however, hands-on practical training is not included according to 30% of the respondents. The lack of E&T, practical aspects in current E&T, and mandatory continuing E&T were considered the major problems. The legal requirement that obtained higher implementation score was the inclusion of the practical aspects of medical radiological procedures on education (86%), and lower score was obtained for the inclusion of RP E&T on medical and dental school curriculums (61%). Conclusions: A heterogeneity in RP E&T during undergraduate, residency/internship and continuous professional development is evident across Europe. Differences were noted per area of practice/research, profession, and European geographic region. A large variation in RP E&T problem rating was also obtained.
      40Scopus© Citations 1
  • Publication
    The impact of COVID-19 upon student radiographers and clinical training
    Introduction: To investigate student clinical placement concerns and opinions, during the initial COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and to inform educational institution support planning. Methods: Between mid-June to mid-July 2020, educational institutions from 12 countries were invited to participate in an online survey designed to gain student radiographer opinion from a wide geographical spread and countries with varying levels of COVID-19 cases. Results: 1277 respondents participated, of these 592 had completed clinical placements during January to June 2020. Accommodation and cohabiting risks were identified as challenging, as was isolation from family, travel to clinical placements, and to a lesser extent childcare. Students stated they had been affected by the feeling of isolation and concerns about the virus whilst on placement. Overall 35.4% of all respondents were ‘Not at all worried’ about being a radiographer, however, 64.6% expressed varying levels of concern and individual domestic or health situations significantly impacted responses (p ≤ 0.05). Year 4 students and recent graduates were significantly more likely to be ‘Not worried at all’ compared to Year 2 and 3 students (p ≤ 0.05). The need for improved communication regarding clinical placements scheduling was identified as almost 50% of students on clinical placements between January to June 2020 identified the completion of assessments as challenging. Furthermore, only 66% of respondents with COVID-19 imaging experience stated being confident with personal protective equipment (PPE) use. Conclusion: Student radiographers identified key challenges which require consideration to ensure appropriate measures are in place to support their ongoing needs. Importantly PPE training is required before placement regardless of prior COVID-19 imaging experience. Implications for practice: As the next academic year commences, the study findings identify important matters to be considered by education institutions with responsibility for Radiography training and as students commence clinical placements during the on-going global COVID-19 pandemic.
      171Scopus© Citations 39
  • Publication
    The risk of burnout in academic radiographers during the COVID-19 pandemic
    Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic created major challenges across society, healthcare provision and also for those delivering healthcare education programmes. Clinical placements were disrupted and, in many incidences cancelled. Higher education institutions were required to move completely to online delivery methods with little notice. This created significant additional workload, stress and the need to learn new skills at a time of great uncertainty. This study explored the risks of burnout in academic radiographers during the first 12 months of the pandemic. Methods: A survey was circulated using SurveyMonkey™ via personal, national and international networks, including the European Federation of Radiographer Societies (EFRS), to reach as many academic radiographers as possible. Disengagement and exhaustion were measured using the Oldenburg burnout inventory. Descriptive statistics and a one-way ANOVA were used to analyse the quantitative data using STATA V16 (Statacorp, TA). Results: 533 academic radiographers responded to the survey from 43 different countries. Mean disengagement was in the medium range and exhaustion was high for the total dataset. In a subset of countries with 10 or more responses, there was significant variation between countries, with the UK having highest mean exhaustion score and the UK, Ireland and France sharing the highest mean disengagement score. In the total dataset, 86% agreed workload had increased during the pandemic and 35% had considered leaving academia in the last year. Conclusion: These data demonstrate the stark reality of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on academic radiographers’ workload, wellbeing, and intention to leave their roles. Implications for practice: COVID-19 has had a significant impact on academic radiographers and this study highlights the urgent need for remedial measures to better support academic radiographers in order to ensure a sufficient, and sustainable workforce.
      52Scopus© Citations 3
  • Publication
    Variability of Breast Density Classification Between US and UK Radiologists
    Purpose: To assess whether subjective breast density categorization remains the most useful way to categorize mammographic breast density and whether variations exist across geographic regions with differing national legislation. Methods: Breast radiologists from two countries (UK, USA) were voluntarily recruited to review sets of anonymized mammographic images (n = 180) and additional repeated images (n = 70), totaling 250 images, to subjectively rate breast density according to the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data system (BI-RADS) categorization. Images were reviewed using standardized viewing conditions and Ziltron software. Inter-rater reliability was analyzed using the Kappa test. Results: The US radiologists (n = 25) judged fewer images as being “mostly fatty” than UK radiologists (n = 24), leading a greater number of images classified in the higher BI-RADS categories, particularly in BI-RADS 3. Overall agreement for all data sets was k = 0.654 indicating substantial agreement between the two cohorts. When the data were split into BI-RADS categories, the level of agreement varied from fair to substantial. Conclusion: Variations in how radiologists from the USA and UK classify breast density was established, especially when the data were divided into breast density categories. This variation supports the need for a reliable breast density assessment method to enhance the individualized supplemental screening pathways for dense breasts. The use of two-scale categorization method demonstrated improved agreement.
    Scopus© Citations 12  389
  • Publication
    Research ethics systems, processes, and awareness across Europe: Radiography research ethics standards for Europe (RRESFE)
    Introduction: The Radiography Research Ethics Standards for Europe (RRESFE) project aims to provide a cross-sectional snapshot of current research ethics systems, processes, and awareness of such, across Europe together with identifying the associated challenges, education, and training needs. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey targeting radiography researchers in Europe was conducted. Data collection took place between April 26 and July 12, 2021, using a snowball sampling approach. Descriptive and analytical statistics were used to identify trends in research ethics frameworks across Europe. Results: 285 responses were received across 33 European and 23 non-European countries. Most (n = 221; 95%) European respondents stated ethics approval is required before commencing research in their country. Requirements around research ethics approval and awareness of such requirements varied by European region (X2 (2, n = 129) = 7.234, p = 0.013) and were found to differ depending on the type of research participant and study design. Additionally, European respondents reported ethics approval is a national requirement more often than their non-European counterparts (X2 (1, n = 282) = 4.316, p = 0.049). Requirements for ethics approval were also associated with the undergraduate programme duration (2-year vs. 3-year vs. 3.5 year vs. 4-year vs. multiple programme durations; X2 (4, n = 231) = 10.075, p = 0.016) and availability of postgraduate training (postgraduate training available vs. postgraduate training not available; X2 (1, n = 231) = 15.448, p = <0.001) within respondents’ country. Conclusion: Respondents from countries with longer programme durations/availability of multiple programme lengths, availability of postgraduate training, and establishment of European Qualifications Framework Level 6 were generally associated with less uncertainty and more comprehensive research ethics requirements. Implications for practice: Results are informative of the current status of research ethics within evidence-based radiography.
      80Scopus© Citations 4