An Overview of Radiation Therapy Services @ RBWH for AYA patients – Resource Evaluation Survey

Closed 30 Nov 2021

Opened 19 Nov 2021


In Australia, approximately 1,100 Adolescents and Young Adults (AYAs) are diagnosed with cancer annually (1). Of these cases, almost 225 AYAs are diagnosed in Queensland (2). Radiation Therapy is a clinically proven method of treatment that is prescribed as a part of international oncology best practice guidelines and therefore plays an integral role in the treatment of oncological disease in AYA patients (1). The Radiation Therapy department at RBWH currently provides services to approximately 22 AYA patients each year representing less than 1% of our department’s yearly workload. Despite this, the number of young people treated at the RBWH equates to 42% of all AYA radiation therapy treatment in Queensland yearly, making the RBWH the largest provider of this service in the state (3).

The radiation therapy team at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) have a long history of proving care to young people (10-11). In late 2018, a special interest group was formed within the RBWH radiation therapy department to improve the healthcare and service delivery to AYA patients. As AYA patients represent less than 1% of our total patient cohort, our existing education resources have been developed in collaboration with and to suit the information preferences of the majority of our department’s patient cohort, being the adult oncology population. One of the special interest groups main objectives is to improve the radiation therapy education resources for AYA patients.  This has been identified as a service improvement priority based on much literature emphasising the disadvantages faced by young people due to poorly developed health services not catering to the unique needs and challenges of this patient population (12-13).

This quality improvement project will develop a new resource specifically designed for AYA patients titled ‘Radiation Therapy at the RBWH – Overview for AYA Oncology Patients’ to provide an overview of what radiation therapy encompasses within our service. This resource aims to cater to the health literacy needs of this patient population by engaging with consumers to design and develop the resource in collaboration with Radiation Therapy clinicians. The project team plan has engaged and partnered with the Queensland Youth Cancer Service (QYCS) and their Youth Advisory Group (YAG) to gain consumer co-design.  

What happens next

It is anticipated that the outcomes of this project will provide vital information to inform to the design and development of the quality improvement project. A summary of the findings will be distributed back to the YAG for discussion at their subsequent meeting. At the conclusion of the quality improvement activity, results of this project will be incorporated into presentations delivered within Metro North in line with the CAHRLI Innovation Challenge requirements as well as within professional forums focused on healthcare service improvements for AYA Oncology patients.


  • Partner organisations
  • Metro North HHS Staff - including contractors and students


  • Staff survey
  • Publication feedback