The role of radiotherapy patients in provision of student interpersonal skills feedback

P. Bridge, C. Pirihi, M. Carmichael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background At Queensland University of Technology, student radiation therapists receive regular feedback from clinical staff relating to clinical interpersonal skills. Although this is of great value, there is anecdotal evidence that students communicate differently with patients when under observation. Purpose The aim of this pilot was to counter this perceived observer effect by allowing patients to provide students with additional feedback. Materials and methods Radiotherapy patients from two departments were provided with anonymous feedback forms relating to aspects of student interpersonal skills. Clinical assessors, mentors and students were also provided with feedback forms, including questions about the role of patient feedback. Patient perceptions of student performance were correlated with staff feedback and assessment scores. Results Results indicated that the feedback was valued by both students and patients. Students reported that the additional dimension focused them on communication, set goals for development and increased motivation. These changes derived from both feedback and study participation, suggesting that the questionnaires could be a useful teaching tool. Patients scored more generously than mentors, although there was agreement in relative grading. Conclusions The anonymous questionnaire is a convenient and valuable method of gathering patient feedback on students. Future iterations will determine the optimum timing for this method of feedback.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Radiotherapy in Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • education
  • feedback
  • mixed methods
  • patient
  • student


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