Patient perceptions and preferences about prostate fiducial markers and ultrasound motion monitoring procedures in radiation therapy treatment

Brown, Amy, Pain, Tilley, and Preston, Robyn (2020) Patient perceptions and preferences about prostate fiducial markers and ultrasound motion monitoring procedures in radiation therapy treatment. Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences, 68 (1). pp. 37-43.

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Patient experiences and preferences of image-guidance procedures in prostate cancer radiotherapy are largely unknown. This study explored experiences and preferences of patients undergoing both fiducial marker (FM) insertion and Clarity ultrasound (US) procedures.


A sequential explanatory mixed method approach was used. A questionnaire (n = 40) ranked experiences from 0 to 10 (worst) in the domains of invasiveness; pain; physical discomfort; and psychological discomfort. Responses were analysed with descriptive and inferential statistics. Semi-structured interviews (n = 22) obtained further insights into their perspectives and preferences and were thematically analysed.


Perceptions of invasiveness varied with 46% reporting FMs more invasive than US and 49% the same for the two procedures. The mean score for FM was 3.6 and 2.1 for US. Mean scores for pain, physical and psychological discomfort were higher for FMs with 3.3, 3.2 and 2.9, respectively, and 1.1, 1.2 and 1.7 respectively for US, only pain achieved significance (P < 0.05). Three themes emerged from the interviews: Expectations versus Experience; Preferences linked to Priorities; and Motivations. Eleven patients (50%) preferred US; however, 10 (45%) could not illicit a preference.


Participants found both of the FM and US image-guidance procedures tolerable and acceptable. Men's preference was elusive, suggesting a more rigorous preference methodology is required to understand preferences in this population.

Item ID: 64672
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2051-3909
Keywords: image guided radiation therapy, radiation therapy, radiation, oncology - discipline, research - mixed method - general
Copyright Information: © 2020 The Authors. Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Australian Society of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy and New Zealand Institute of Medical Radiation Technology. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Funders: Townsville Hospital and Health Service (THHS), James Cook University (JCU)
Projects and Grants: THHS Study, Education and Research Trust Account [2017_02], JCU Doctoral Cohort program
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2020 07:40
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3211 Oncology and carcinogenesis > 321110 Radiation therapy @ 100%
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