The Person-centreed Evolution of Radiation Therapy Services in Ontario Study

Official Title

The Person-centreed Evolution of Radiation Therapy Services in Ontario (PERSON) Study


This is a single centre, prospective, investigator initiated, randomized controlled study of patients with breast cancer who will be receiving radiation therapy as per SOC. Patients will be randomized in either the person-centreed model-of-care versus the standard model of care. Patients randomized to the person-centreed model-of-care will have a 30 minute education session with a radiation therapist in addition to RT SOC procedures. Patients randomized to the standard model of care will be treated as per SOC. Questionnaires will be administered to both arms at baseline, and at the first and last day of treatment. In addition to the main study, patients will have the option to participate in a semi-structured one on one interview upon completion of their radiation therapy course.

Trial Description

Primary Outcome:

  • Patient Anxiety Levels
Secondary Outcome:
  • Patient-reported self-efficacy
  • Patient-reported engagement level
  • Patient-reported experience
  • Patient-reported experience
  • Patient-reported preparedness for radiation therapy
Radiation therapy plays an integral role in the definitive treatment of breast cancer by reducing the risk of locoregional recurrence and improving patient outcomes. Despite the availability of supportive care services, many patients have unmet needs which may lead to unexpected negative outcomes. Anxiety can affect patients' ability to cope, interfere with treatment and self-manage their own care. Strategies to improve cancer care include patient navigators or case managers, early interventions and self-management of side effects to reduce treatment-related toxicities. Therefore, minimizing distress from treatment and engaging patients by personalizing care according to their unique needs will optimize use of supportive care services and improve clinical outcomes. A Cochrane review demonstrated that information and supportive care sessions delivered by non-physician healthcare providers improves both emotional wellbeing and quality of life in breast cancer patients. A prospective randomized, Australian study by Halkett et al. demonstrated that an education intervention delivered one-on-one by Radiation Therapists effectively reduces breast cancer patients' psychological distress and improves preparedness for treatment. This highlights the importance of early and accessible education resources where patients experience direct access to the radiation therapy team. Further research is required to investigate the efficacy of person-centreed model on patient experiences and relevant clinical outcomes. Specifically, it is expected this model will reduce patient anxiety, improve preparedness for radiation therapy through education, and improve patient self-management of radiation-toxicities. The proposed study focuses on patients with breast cancer because of the experience in testing the model on this group and their relatively uniform treatment at all Ontario cancer centres, which will facilitate translation of this model in the future. A randomized controlled study will determine the efficacy of the person-centreed model versus standard care, and generate high-quality evidence in an unbiased setting that was not possible in the prior clinical pilot phases. Personalizing patient experiences in radiation therapy, coupled with improvements in treatment quality and supportive care, may improve clinical outcomes including toxicity and quality of life.

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Canadian Cancer Society

These resources are provided in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society