Promoting early presentation of breast cancer amongst older women: radiographers' experiences of taking on a new role
© BioMed Central Ltd 2008
Published: 7 July 2008
The London Psychosocial Group has been funded by Cancer Research UK to implement and evaluate a psychoeducational intervention to promote early presentation amongst older women with breast cancer. The intervention is designed to be radiographer-delivered to women receiving their final invited mammogram with the National Health Service Breast Screening Programme.
To report the experiences of research radiographers in delivering the 10-minute intervention to women in breast screening clinics.
Reflective diaries and supervision records were used to collate the experiences of radiographers delivering the intervention as part of a research trial and to discuss emerging issues and challenges for widening the role of diagnostic radiographers across the National Health Service.
The main challenges included learning and rehearsing a structured interview, delivering complex health messages within time constraints using behavioural change techniques, and dealing with unexpected events, including emotional distress, during interviews. Benefits included enhanced interaction with women attending screening and extending the usual role of the radiographer.
It was beneficial yet demanding for radiographers to extend their role in this way. Not all radiographers may be motivated or suitable to undertake this work. Training and ongoing supervision are essential to support radiographers who deliver the intervention.