Background: We evaluated radiation oncology residency program directors' attitudes toward discrete palliative care skills in effort to determine which skills should be prioritized in radiation oncology resident training. Design: We identified 93 U.S. radiation oncology residency program directors and sent them a survey through e-mail. The survey assessed views of 27 discrete palliative care skills in eight domains and was adapted from the American Society of Clinical Oncology/American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Guidance Statement defining high-quality primary palliative care in medical oncology. Using a nine-point scale, respondents rated each skill on three constructs: (1) importance to high-quality cancer care, (2) relevance of the skill to radiation oncology practice, and (3) importance to radiation oncology residency education. Skills were categorized as "Include"(median score ≥7 for all constructs), "Exclude"(median score ≤3 for all constructs), or "Uncertain"(all other skills) using a composite score of all constructs. Results: Twenty-nine program directors (response rate 31%) completed the survey. Of the 27 skills, 100% were rated as highly important to high-quality cancer care, 70% were rated as highly relevant to radiation oncology practice, and 81% were rated as highly important to resident education (median score ≥7). Using the composite score, 70% of skills were categorized as "Include."The domains of Caregiver Support (100%), End-of-Life Care (66%), and Spiritual/Cultural Assessment and Management (33%) had the highest proportions of skills rated as "Uncertain."Conclusions: The surveyed radiation oncology residency program directors generally value palliative care skills within radiation oncology.
- palliative skills
- radiation oncology
- resident education
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine