Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing


The purpose of this study was to describe the congruency between what the patient who is considering radiation therapy perceives his learning needs to be and what the radiation oncology nurse perceives the learning needs of the patient to be. This descriptive design used convenience sampling. The subjects consisted of 56 patients and 8 radiation oncology nurses who were recruited from a regional hospital system with two separate radiation oncology settings.

Data were obtained after the radiation oncology nurse provided an overview of the (a) purpose of radiation therapy, (b) type of radiation prescribed, (c) mechanism of radiation action, (d) schedule for receiving treatments, (e) length of time for each treatment, (f) potential side effects, and (g) how to minimize the effects of treatment. Data analysis included a comparison of the raw summed scores of the patients and nurses. No significant differences were identified in the perceived learning needs between the two groups by a two-tailed paired t-test.

The perceived learning need items identified by the patients and nurses were analyzed using rank ordering of needs using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Generally, the mean rank was similar between the patients and nurses; however differences in the mean rank ordering were identified.


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