Are oncology trainees prepared for the ageing population?

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Introduction: Outcomes for older people with cancer are poorer in the UK than in comparable countries1. Despite this, UK oncology curriculums2,3 do not have dedicated geriatric oncology learning objectives.

Purpose of the Study: This cross-sectional study using the survey of UK oncology trainees aims to identify training and confidence in managing older people with cancer.

Methods/Summarised Description of the Project: A survey was developed using the existing literature on the comprehensive geriatric assessment needs of older people with cancer. It comprised of 3 sections: demographics, training exposure, and current practice and attitudes, predominantly using a five-point Likert scale.

A Survey Monkey link was emailed to the attendees of a national meeting for medical oncology trainees (phase 1). Following high response rates, the survey was cascaded to UK trainees (medical and clinical oncology) via their trainee representatives (phase 2). We could not verify how many of the 599 UK trainees4,5 received the survey in phase 2. Responses were collected from October 2011 to January 2012. Categorical data was analysed in frequencies and valid percent, Chi Square or Fisher's Exact Test compared the responses of early trainees (years 1–3) and late trainees (years 4–5).

Results: Phase 1 response rates were 93% (64/69). Phase 2 yielded 32 responses. Total n = 96. The responses of phases 1 and 2 were not significantly different, therefore are reported together. Mean age was 32.5 years (range 27–42), 66% (n = 63) female.

64.5% (n = 60) reported never having received training on the particular needs of older people with cancer during specialist training. A further 20.4% (N = 19) had only received this once.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberP81
Pages (from-to)S74-S75
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Geriatric Oncology
Issue numberSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


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