Using immobilisation masks in magnetic resonance imaging radiotherapy planning scans: the experiences of male patients with head and neck cancers

Jordan, Louise and Miller, Paul K. (2022) Using immobilisation masks in magnetic resonance imaging radiotherapy planning scans: the experiences of male patients with head and neck cancers. In: UK Imaging and Oncology Congress (UKIO), 4-6 July 2022, Liverpool, UK.

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Abstract

Background: Modern radiation therapies of head and neck cancer require precisely delineated target areas in order to deliver high tumour doses whilst sparing surrounding healthy tissue and functional anatomy. The advantages of MRI in the radiotherapy treatment pathway of head and neck patients are axiomatic. An immobilisation device is utilised to allow replication of patient position at subsequent treatment sessions. This study investigates the experience of head and neck cancer patients undergoing an MRI scan whilst immobilised in a thermoplastic mask.

Methods: A purposively selected sample of eight patients with head and neck cancers took part in semi-structured interviews. Reflexive thematic analysis based on a process described by Braun and Clark (2019) was used to allow themes to emerge from the data.
Results: Participants described their experience of the MRI in their mask. Pre-scan preparation was discussed, alongside feelings of confusion and mistrust of online media. Participants' loss of control during the scan was highlighted, and coping strategies employed in order to complete the scan were shared. Feelings of restriction, powerlessness and removal of choice were identified leading to resignation and acceptance of discomfort. Significant trust in medical professionals was displayed with confidence in the treatment pathway prescribed.

Conclusion: This study proposes strategies to minimise patient refusal in the known claustrophobic environment of MRI plus the restrictive thermoplastic mask. All participants in this study were able to tolerate the MRI due to confidence in skilled staff and endured any discomfort as a means to achieving the goal of becoming cancer free.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Departments: Departments > Institute of Health > Medical Sciences
Depositing User: Paul Miller
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2022 09:13
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2022 09:45
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/6456

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