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6. Project Methodology

6.1 The project is a service mapping and development project. A mixed methodology was developed comprising quantitative and qualitative data collection from key stakeholders in every cancer centre in the UK. Östlund et al identified a trend for conducting parallel data analysis on quantitative and qualitative data in mixed methods healthcare studies.20  Triangulation as a methodological metaphor was identified as a means to enable the integration of both qualitative and quantitative findings and facilitate clarification and validity of outcomes. It is also important to ensure transparency in mixed methods studies and the presence of key methodological components in published reports.21

6.2 To that end, a design and delivery framework was utilised to ensure core subject topic areas were explored in as consistent a manner as possible and utilising the same personnel to conduct face to face workshops and therefore seek to minimise subjective bias as much as practicable.22 Each stage of the project was completed to meet the overall project aim.  

6.3 The key stakeholders were identified as; all radiotherapy service managers (RSMs) in the UK because they are responsible for service planning and development, prostate/urology specialist therapeutic radiographers in post and other professionals with a specific role in caring for men with prostate cancer. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) responsible for developing prostate specific postgraduate modules were also included. 

6.4 Overall, the number of cancer centres and personnel participating in the project was:

  • 46 cancer centres responded to the survey from a total number of 72;
  • 17 prostate/urology site specialists from 14 cancer centres attended the two designated workshops; 
  • 13 information, support and review radiographers with experience of caring for men with prostate cancer from 12 cancer centres attended the session at the radiotherapy information, support and review forum;
  • 50 delegates, including speakers, together with SCoR and Prostate Cancer UK staff attended the dissemination conference.

The stages of the project and data collection methods are described in detail in sections 6.6 and 7 below. 

6.5 Project stages and time frame

6.6 Ethical issues 

The study was categorised as a service evaluation and development project.  Accordingly, there was no requirement for it to be scrutinised by a UK Research Ethics Committee. Nevertheless, the work was carried out in a manner that ensured that the rights, safety, dignity and well-being of all participants in the study were upheld.

6.6.1 The participants of the workshops were advised that their personal data may be shared with Prostate Cancer UK for the purposes of research as part of the joint research programme between the two organisations.

6.6.2 Consent for the radiotherapy service manager departmental survey, interviewees and delegates were obtained in compliance with the Data Protection Act (1998) .23 Similarly, any personal data collected, recorded and used by the SCoR will have the appropriate safeguards applied to ensure compliance.

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