Measuring Mental Workload of Medical Physicists, Radiation Therapists and Dosimetrists at the Five Stages of Radiation Treatment Planning in External-Beam Radiotherapy using NASA-TLX
Authors: Matjaž Galičiča, Enda F. Fallona, Wil van der Puttenab, Gordon Sandsa, Margaret Mooreb
Abstract: Mental Workload of Medical Physicists, Radiation Therapists and Dosimetrists was measured at five stages of Radiation Treatment Planning in External-Beam Radiation Therapy using NASA-TLX, a self-reported subjective technique for assessing mental workload developed by NASA (Hart and Staveland (1988). The five stages of the Treatment Planning process which were considered were; Image Import and Prescription Review, Target Contouring, Beam Manipulation and Calculation, Physician Approval, and Export of Plan to Pre-Treatment Review. Besides the assessed workload, the discrepancies and deviations from protocol (defined here as errors) reported during the five stages of the Treatment Planning process were also recorded using two independent internal reporting systems. The work was carried out over a two week period during September and October 2013 and 21 treatment cases were assessed in total. Medium to high perceived mental workload was reported in all five stages of the Treatment Planning process. Nine cases of errors were rectified and recorded in 7 out of the 21 treatments. The workload and error values recorded are discussed, as well as the association between errors and mental workload.
Keywords: NASA-TLX, Workload, Errors, Treatment Planning, Radiotherapy
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