Australian and New Zealand Medical Radiations Research Network
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Australian and New Zealand Medical Radiations Research Network Rebecca Owen Radiation Oncology Mater Centre, Brisbane, AUS. Queensland. Australian and New Zealand Medical Radiation Research Network. AIR for generous funding & NZIMRT & TROG for ongoing support

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Australian and New Zealand Medical Radiations Research Network Rebecca Owen

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Australian and New Zealand Medical Radiations Research Network

Rebecca Owen

Radiation Oncology Mater Centre, Brisbane, AUS


Australian and New Zealand Medical Radiation Research Network

  • AIR for generous funding & NZIMRT & TROG for ongoing support

  • Many people have contributed and continue contribute to the development and evolution of the ANZMRRN. Rebecca Owen, Qld (Chair); Sheila Pickard, NSW (Secretary); Tim Deegan, (Qld); Narelle Wallace, (Qld); Craig Watson, (ACT); Trina Archer, (NZ); Andrew Clarke, (NZ); Gay Dungey, (NZ); KareenGrimshaw, (NZ); Hayley Wooding, (NZ); Sharon Richardson, (WA); Jennifer Cox, (NSW); MeeganShepherd, (NSW); ShereeBarlin, (NSW); Stephanie Leader, (NSW); Richard Oates, (Vic); Sarah Everitt, (Vic); Charlotte Sale, (Vic); Kellie Knight, (Vic); Melissa Crain, (TROG); Alisha Moore, (TROG); Caroline Wright, (Monash University); Bronwyn Hilder, (Tas); William Tyler Tran (Canada); Kristie Matthews (Monash); Alice Hall (AIR); Paul Gloster (AIR);


  • Research


    • Aim

    • Concept development


  • Research Benchmarking Survey – NZ RTs

    • Purpose

    • Results – NZ RTs

What is research?

…investigation undertaken to gain knowledge and understanding…

National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research

…seeking an answer to a question in an organised and consistent way…

Payton OD (1988) Research: the validation of clinical practice,

2ndedn. F A Davis, Philadelphia

Research… Why do it?

  • “Discovery”

  • Challenging

  • Don’t always find what you expect to!

  • Our practice should be evidence based

  • To improve patient outcomes

  • AdvancesMR

“C. 1895 Radiation Discoveries”

Sophisticated Imaging and Cancer Treatment Technology

Image Courtesy of Sarah Everitt; & Gandey; Standardising radiation dose in 4D-CT Imaging can reduce Lung imaging


  • Research is a challenge!

  • RT’s attitudes and perceptions toward research

    • require support before engaging (Skutter et al, 2003 The Radiographer)

    • Commonly reported barriers

      • Time, education, knowledge of methodologies,

      • mentorship & funding (Wright et al, J RadiatPrac 2009; Agustin et al, JMIRO)

Aim of the ANZMRRN

  • To provide a freely available research network that will bring Australian and New Zealand Medical Radiation Professionals together in all aspects of research

The ANZMRRN Story…

  • Introduced at TROG TRW 2012

  • Met with enthusiasm!

  • Steering group developed TOR

    • Input from lead of CRRN

    • 2 Main objectives:

      • Develop the concept of the network

      • Survey Australia and New Zealand RTs to find out what (if) they want and need in a research network


  • Steering group met regularly since 07/12

    • Facilitate networking & collaboration

    • Improve communication b/w MRPs

    • To develop high quality MRP led multi-D research projects

    • Encourage involvement in TROG

    • Provide resources

    • Share & transfer knowledge through mentorship

  • Survey: of RT research needs


  • Presented this concept to the AIR

    • Essentially we have developed a partnership

  • Working with keymembers there tocreatethe web space

  • Being done in 2 phases…

  • Ph 1 is now “live”

  • AIR Research Grant for the Survey

PHASE 2 – Coming soon!

  • Secure online membership

  • Facility for generating email

  • Further develop trials/projects register (proposed & current)

  • Quarterly online Journal Club

    • With online forum

Outcomes – (we hope!)

  • Outcomes

    • Improve communication and collaboration between MRP researchers

    • Increase MRP participation in research

    • Increase the quality of MRP research

  • Capture outcomes by re-doing the Survey in Aug 2015

Survey - Aims

  • Identify the research qualifications of RTs working in Australia and New Zealand

  • Identify the research activities and level of support that RTs working in Australia and New Zealand are involved in and receive

  • Understand the types of research RTs are involved in

  • Understand the current needs of RT researchers with respect to mentorship and resources

  • Elicit opinions about the proposed research network

Survey Method

  • HREC approved on-line questionnaire (27 questions)

  • Sample targeted all RTs practicing in Aus and NZ.

  • Distributed electronically by:

    • email from the AIR to members

    • Directors of RT departments in Aus & NZ

Results - Snapshot

  • Survey was distributed between September and October 2013

  • 478 surveys were completed and returned

  • Aus 420 (87.8%) and New Zealand respondents 58 (12.2%)

Results: NZ Respondents

Demographics: Respondents


Research Qualifications

  • Overall 339 (71%) no research quals,

    • 39 (11.5%) of these RTs enrolled in PhD, Masters or Honours degree

  • NZ – 23 (40%) Graduated; 10 enrolled

Are you involved in Research?

  • What type of research?

    • 10 respondents

    • Qualitative = Quantitative

Research Mentorship

  • 56 respondents

    • 6 (out of 10) had research mentors

    • 50 do not

  • Comprise Academics (majority), RTs, ROs, Physicists & Nursing

  • 14 (40 responded) identified that they would like a research mentor

Advantage of a Mentor?

  • 40 Free text responses

    • 90 % positive

      “Support, encouragement, wisdom, networking skills"

      “Guidance with research for someone who has little experience in this area would be helpful, make it less daunting”

      “I have been a quantitative researcher …. More recently I have become involved in qualitative research... I could do with a qualitative research mentor"

Resource Needs

When asked about resource needs RTs rated:

  • General awareness of research process

  • Study design & methods

  • GCP

  • Statistics and Ethics equally down the list

Access to Time for Research

How is Research Encouraged?

Concept of ANZMRRN

  • Positive

    • 85 % of respondents (35/58) were interested in becoming members

    • 85 % indicated that a support network would increase their participation in research

  • Mentorship was rated highest...

    • General awareness of the research

    • GCP

    • Study design

Summary - Survey

  • Validated need for ANZMRRN

  • RT’s feel they would benefit from:

    • improved knowledge of the research process

    • access to a mentor



  • AIR

  • AIR Research Grant


  • Sarah Everitt

  • Caroline Wright

  • Kellie Knight

  • Sheila Pickard


  • AIR


  • TROG

  • Special Thanks to Alice Hall & Paul Gloster

  • Sheila Pickard & all the Steering Group members

Thank you!

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