DOI: 10.1111/1754-9485.13634 ISSN: 1754-9477

Established advanced practice roles in radiation therapy: A scoping review

Sarah Lawlor, Michelle Leech
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Oncology


Advanced practitioners are healthcare professionals that are highly skilled with a particular area of expertise. These roles have been successfully implemented in many healthcare settings, improving efficiency of the service, as well as enhancing the standard of care received by patients. Although advanced practice roles have been implemented in some radiation therapy departments, their implementation have yet to be facilitated in the majority of countries. The purpose of this review is to scope the literature available regarding established advanced practice roles in radiation therapy. The PRISMA strategy for the identification of relevant literature was adhered to. Two data bases, EMBASE and PubMed, were searched using combinations of the key words ‘Advanced’, ‘Practice’, ‘APRT’, ‘Radiation’, ‘Therapy’ and ‘Radiotherapy’. Exclusion criteria were applied, and citation lists were also screened for additional relevant sources, including grey literature sources. A total of 35 relevant sources were identified that discussed advanced practice radiation therapy roles in the United Kingdom, Singapore, Canada, Australia and the USA. Means of role establishment and scope of practice were defined, and a number of advantages and challenges for advanced practice radiation therapist roles were identified. There are many benefits of implementing advanced practice roles in radiation therapy departments. Though the implementation of these roles can be challenging, the existing evidence indicates that it would be beneficial for the patient, the radiation therapist and the department as a whole. A more systematic approach, including reporting of quantitative outcomes may assist in the more widespread implementation of these roles.

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