Impact of Audio-Visual Assisted Therapeutic Ambience in Radiotherapy (AVATAR) on Anesthesia Use, Payer Charges, and Treatment Time in Pediatric Patients. Practical radiation oncology Balazy, K. E., Gutkin, P. M., Skinner, L., von Eyben, R., Fowler, T., Pinkham, D. W., Rodriguez, S., Maxim, P. G., Donaldson, S. S., Loo, B. W., Bush, K., Hiniker, S. M. 2020


PURPOSE: Pediatric radiotherapy requires optimal immobilization that often necessitates daily anesthesia. To decrease anesthesia use, we implemented a novel XXX system which projects video onto a radiolucent screen within the child's line of vision to provide attentional diversion. We investigated its reduction on anesthesia use, payer charges, and treatment time, as well as its impact on radiation delivery.METHODS AND MATERIALS: A 6-year retrospective analysis was performed among children undergoing radiotherapy (n=224), 3 years before and 3 after introduction of XXX. The frequency of anesthesia use before and after XXX implementation, as well as radiotherapy treatment times were compared. The number of spared anesthesia treatments allowed for a charge to payer analysis. To document lack of surface dose perturbation by XXX, a phantom craniospinal treatment course was delivered both with and without XXX. Additionally, an ion chamber course was delivered to document changes to dose at depth.RESULTS: More children were able to avoid anesthesia use entirely in the post-XXX cohort, compared to the pre-XXX cohort (73.2% vs 63.4%, p=0.03) and fewer required anesthesia for each treatment (18.8% vs 33%; p = 0.03). XXX introduction reduced anesthesia use for all ages studied. Treatment time per session was reduced by 38% using XXX compared to anesthesia. There were 326 fewer anesthesia sessions delivered over three years after XXX was introduced, with an estimated savings of > $500,000. OSLDs revealed a small increase in dose of 0.8%-9.5% with XXX, while the use of a thermomolded face mask increased skin dose as much as 58%.CONCLUSIONS: XXX introduction decreased anesthesia use in children undergoing radiotherapy; more avoided anesthesia entirely, and fewer needed it for every treatment. This resulted in a reduction in treatment time, and savings of nearly $550,000 in approximately 3 years, with minimal perturbation of radiotherapy dose delivery.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.prro.2019.12.009

View details for PubMedID 31935524