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Session: Therapy General ePoster Viewing [Return to Session]

Physics Quality Assurance: A Pilot Survey of Global Needs

A Yorke*, V Williams E Ford, University of Washington, Seattle, WA


PO-GePV-T-296 (Sunday, 7/25/2021)   [Eastern Time (GMT-4)]

Purpose: To assess physics QA and quality management in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). An exploratory preliminary study was conducted to investigate the relationships between physics QA needs and the economic factors in the radiotherapy centers surveyed.

Methods: A survey was conducted amongst 13 centers in 6 countries. 3 LMIC and 10 upper middle-income countries (UMIC). Questions covered education and training, recognition of medical physics as a profession, the nature and type of external beam equipment, patient workload on Linac/Co-60, HDR and LDR brachytherapy and, physics QA needs and practices.

Results: The survey response rate was 92%. In countries with lower gross domestic product per capita (GDPpc) there were a higher number of patients treated per year and higher linac workloads. In terms of staff workload on average there were 360 patients/year/physicist and 210 patients/year/radiation oncologist (or therapist). This workload is comparable to other surveys in Eastern Europe and other regions. In lower GDPpc countries there were more QA needs, including: film/array detectors, independent dose calculation software, calibration of ion chambers, diodes, TLDs, phantoms for verification, TPS test phantoms, imaging test phantoms and film dosimeters education and training. The study also revealed centers follow AAPM (75%), IAEA (66.7%) and other international guidelines (20%) for their QA practices.

Conclusion: Our study shows the relation between QA needs and RT centers in low GDP regions. Though centers follow international QA guidelines, they lack recommended devices and infrastructure to execute these protocols. These results support the need to further investigate current physics QA practices in these centers and develop collaborations to build comprehensive local QA programs.



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