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Youth cancer patients lead the way in developing new resources

L-R, Radiation Therapy video Project team Brianna McCoola, Lauren, Josh, Yovanna Funnell

Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital’s (RBWH) Cancer Care Radiation Therapy department has taken the lead from their consumers in designing informative video resources for their adolescent and young adult patients.

Coming to hospital for radiation therapy can be a daunting experience for anyone. Like all patients, young people undertaking radiation therapy have questions and concerns about their treatment especially how it works, feels and its potential impact on their life. RBWH radiation therapists wanted to create a video resource that resonated with their young audience, so decided to team up with their young cancer patients to co-design this informative resource.

Seeking feedback and guidance from consumers (ie. patients, carers and family members) on initiatives isn’t a new concept in healthcare, however the radiation therapy team wanted to take their consumer engagement strategy one step further. They engaged with their young consumers from the beginning of the project, seeking feedback on the content and design of the resource from the Queensland Youth Cancer Service Youth Advisory Group via a survey.

The project was then led by young people, with two oncology consumers forming the leadership team for the project. This is how Lauren and Josh, Queensland Health oncology patients, became involved alongside two RBWH radiation therapy clinicians Brianna and Yovanna.

The result – an informative radiation therapy video by young people, for young people which is now being promoted for use in cancer care centres state-wide.

Lauren Rawding, oncology patient, said it felt so empowering to have a seat at the table and a voice that was valued right from the first meeting.

“I’ve been involved in similar projects in the past, however this was the first time I’ve felt so respected, prioritised and valued by the team,” she said.

“As someone who has had radiation before and is about to start it again, I know firsthand how overwhelming it can be. We created the video to help ease anxiety for young patients through seeing a few friendly faces explaining the process to them and their journey with treatment. I hope it answers some of their questions and leaves them feeling that bit more comfortable with the whole process.”

“Seeing the video take form over the course of a year was great. I’m really proud to have been part of the team.”

RBWH Radiation Therapist Brianna McCoola said that although there are many informative videos for cancer patients, there is nothing specifically for adolescent and young adult patients.

“It was an absolute pleasure working with our youth consumers to turn our vision into a reality. Without their input, we could easily have missed the mark in creating a video that spoke to our audience.”

“We encourage all clinical teams to consider involving their consumers right from the beginning of any new health initiatives. They really are key.”

“We are excited to see our video being promoted to cancer care centres across Queensland.”

Funding for the resources was granted through the Metro North CAHRLI Innovation Grant. The team would also like to acknowledge the support of the Queensland Youth Advisory Group (YAG) through the Queensland Youth Cancer Service (QYCS) who were involved in all aspects of the project from scoping to development, production and evaluation.

You can view the video CSS Radiotherapy overview for adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients on Vimeo

Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital’s (RBWH) Cancer Care Radiation Therapy department has taken the lead from their consumers in designing informative video resources for their adolescent and young adult patients.

Coming to hospital for radiation therapy can be a daunting experience for anyone. Like all patients, young people undertaking radiation therapy have questions and concerns about their treatment especially how it works, feels and its potential impact on their life. RBWH radiation therapists wanted to create a video resource that resonated with their young audience, so decided to team up with their young cancer patients to co-design this informative resource.

Seeking feedback and guidance from consumers (ie. patients, carers and family members) on initiatives isn’t a new concept in healthcare, however the radiation therapy team wanted to take their consumer engagement strategy one step further. They engaged with their young consumers from the beginning of the project, seeking feedback on the content and design of the resource from the Queensland Youth Cancer Service Youth Advisory Group via a survey.

The project was then led by young people, with two oncology consumers forming the leadership team for the project. This is how Lauren and Josh, Queensland Health oncology patients, became involved alongside two RBWH radiation therapy clinicians Brianna and Yovanna.

The result – an informative radiation therapy video by young people, for young people which is now being promoted for use in cancer care centres state-wide.

Lauren Rawding, oncology patient, said it felt so empowering to have a seat at the table and a voice that was valued right from the first meeting.

“I’ve been involved in similar projects in the past, however this was the first time I’ve felt so respected, prioritised and valued by the team,” she said.

“As someone who has had radiation before and is about to start it again, I know firsthand how overwhelming it can be. We created the video to help ease anxiety for young patients through seeing a few friendly faces explaining the process to them and their journey with treatment. I hope it answers some of their questions and leaves them feeling that bit more comfortable with the whole process.”

“Seeing the video take form over the course of a year was great. I’m really proud to have been part of the team.”

RBWH Radiation Therapist Brianna McCoola said that although there are many informative videos for cancer patients, there is nothing specifically for adolescent and young adult patients.

“It was an absolute pleasure working with our youth consumers to turn our vision into a reality. Without their input, we could easily have missed the mark in creating a video that spoke to our audience.”

“We encourage all clinical teams to consider involving their consumers right from the beginning of any new health initiatives. They really are key.”

“We are excited to see our video being promoted to cancer care centres across Queensland.”

Funding for the resources was granted through the Metro North CAHRLI Innovation Grant. The team would also like to acknowledge the support of the Queensland Youth Advisory Group (YAG) through the Queensland Youth Cancer Service (QYCS) who were involved in all aspects of the project from scoping to development, production and evaluation.

You can view the video CSS Radiotherapy overview for adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients on Vimeo

2022-03-23T09:52:23+10:00