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A research agenda for radiation oncology: results of the radiation oncology institute's comprehensive research needs assessment.

Jagsi R, et al. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012.

Abstract

PURPOSE: To promote the rational use of scarce research funding, scholars have developed methods for the systematic identification and prioritization of health research needs. The Radiation Oncology Institute commissioned an independent, comprehensive assessment of research needs for the advancement of radiation oncology care.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: The research needs assessment used a mixed-method, qualitative and quantitative social scientific approach, including structured interviews with diverse stakeholders, focus groups, surveys of American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) members, and a prioritization exercise using a modified Delphi technique.

RESULTS: Six co-equal priorities were identified: (1) Identify and develop communication strategies to help patients and others better understand radiation therapy; (2) Establish a set of quality indicators for major radiation oncology procedures and evaluate their use in radiation oncology delivery; (3) Identify best practices for the management of radiation toxicity and issues in cancer survivorship; (4) Conduct comparative effectiveness studies related to radiation therapy that consider clinical benefit, toxicity (including quality of life), and other outcomes; (5) Assess the value of radiation therapy; and (6) Develop a radiation oncology registry.

CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this prioritization exercise is the only comprehensive and methodologically rigorous assessment of research needs in the field of radiation oncology. Broad dissemination of these findings is critical to maximally leverage the impact of this work, particularly because grant funding decisions are often made by committees on which highly specialized disciplines such as radiation oncology are not well represented.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID

22436790 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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