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Professor Heidi Probst PhD, MA, BSc(Hons), DCR(T), FETC

Professor of Radiotherapy and Oncology


Summary

I qualified as a therapeutic radiographer in 1987 and spent fourteen years working as a clinical radiographer in the NHS (primarily at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust) where I specialised in pre-treatment imaging.

My clinical research interests are in radiotherapy for breast cancer and I am the founder and chair of the Breast Radiotherapy Interest Group (BRIG a special interest group for Therapeutic Radiographers/Radiation Therapists) that has over 100 members from the UK and beyond.

Research into breast irradiation evolved directly from my clinical practice experience and my PhD research to develop understanding of the impact of technical delivery of radiotherapy on patient outcomes, patient experience, service efficiency and variations in practice across radiotherapy centres.

About

I am a qualified Therapeutic Radiographer registered with the Health and Social Care Professions Council. Prior to joining Sheffield Hallam University I spent 14 years working as a clinical radiographer for the National Health Service primarily for the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. My specialist area was pre-treatment imaging.

I have been heavily involved in research capacity development initiatives for the radiography profession locally, nationally and internationally for more than ten years.

I was chair of the College of Radiographers national research group (2006-2015) and chair of the panel that assesses and awards funding for the College of Radiographers and Industrial Partners grant scheme.

I have an interest in e-learning and developed the first fully online module at Sheffield Hallam. I have introduced a range of novel practices to enhance teaching and learning. These include the use of a Delphi consensus method to design a new Masters module curriculum, and the development of a pedagogy to enhance intrapreneurial behaviours in health professionals.
My clinical interests are in radiotherapy for breast cancer and I am the founder and chair of the Breast Radiotherapy Interest Group (BRIG).

My research into breast irradiation evolved directly from my clinical practice experience and my PhD research to develop understanding of the impact of technical delivery of radiotherapy on patient outcomes, patient experience, service efficiency and variations in practice across radiotherapy centres.

My subsequent research in this field has focused on a method to improve accuracy, and reduce the radiation dose received by healthy tissues that lie close to the breast (particularly for women with larger breasts), and to provide patient modesty (SuPPORT 4 All study). The SuPPORT 4 All study (a nationally funded project) again focuses on enhancing treatment accuracy while minimising radiation side effects, notably skin (dry and moist desquamation) and heart toxicity (ischemic heart disease) while enhancing patient dignity.

My research interests are in workforce development and breast irradiation. My research into breast irradiation evolved directly from my clinical practice experience and my PhD research to develop understanding of the impact of technical delivery of radiotherapy on patient outcomes, service efficiency and variations in practice across radiotherapy centres. My PhD was a large randomised controlled trial (n=360) focusing on assessing the implications of radiotherapy protocols for breast cancer, the impact on the patient and the use of NHS resources. The overarching priority of this research was to identify protocols that would maximise use of scarce NHS resources while not diminishing the quality of the applied treatments while also investigating patient choice regarding the use of permanent tattoos for treatment alignment.

My subsequent research in this field has focused on a method to improve treatment reproducibility and to provide patient modesty (SuPPORT 4 All study). The SuPPORT 4 All study (a nationally funded project) again focuses on enhancing treatment accuracy while minimising radiation side effects, notably skin (dry and moist desquamation) and heart toxicity (ischemic heart disease) while enhancing patient dignity.

Teaching

Health And Wellbeing

2INSPIRE Increasing Intrapreneurial Skills through Pedagogy, increases Innovation, Retention and Employability (Higher Education Academy funded)
Early Career Resilience: Interdisciplinary Insights to Support Professional Education of Radiation Therapists

Masters courses in Radiotherapy and Oncology
Research and innovation
PhD supervision

Radiotherapy and Oncology

MSc Radiotherapy and Oncology

PhD supervisor

Research

Support Positioning, Organ Stabilisation, during breast cancer RadioTherapy: The SuPPORT 4 All Study- Developing an immobilisation bra to enhance accuracy, reproducibility and dignity for women undergoing breast radiotherapy following a diagnosis of breast cancer. Funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Invention for Innovation Programme (programme grant number: II-LA-0214-20001).

2INSPIRE project report available here http://www.shu.ac.uk/research/hsc/ourexpertise/2-inspire-increasing-intrapreneurial-skills-through-pedagogy-increases-innovation-reten

Publications

Key Publications

Probst, H., & Griffiths, S. (2006). Moving to a high-tech approach to the irradiation of early breast cancer: Is it possible to balance efficacy, morbidity and resource use? Clinical Oncology, 18 (3), 268-275. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.clon.2005.11.009

Probst, H. (2012). Burnout in therapy radiographers in the United Kingdom. British Journal of Radiology, 85 (1017), e760-e765. http://doi.org/10.1259/bjr/16840236

Probst, H., Choppin, S., Harrison, M., & Goyal, A. (2015). The development of a low cost 3D surface imaging system to measure breast volume: defining minimum standards using an adapted Delphi consensus study. Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, 68 (12), 1770-1772. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjps.2015.09.014

Ledsom, D., Reilly, A.J., & Probst, H. (2018). Assessment of deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH) amplitude and reduction in cardiac dose in left breast cancer patients. Radiography, 24 (2), 98-103. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2017.11.005

Hutton, D., Beardmore, C., Patel, I., Massey, J., Wong, H., & Probst, H. (2014). Audit of the job satisfaction levels of the UK radiography and physics workforce in UK radiotherapy centres 2012. The British Journal of Radiology, 87 (1039), 20130742. http://doi.org/10.1259/bjr.20130742

Probst, H., Bragg, C., Dodwell, D., Green, D., & Hart, J. (2014). A systematic review of methods to immobilise breast tissue during adjuvant breast irradiation. Radiography, 20 (1), 70-81. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2013.10.008

Harris, R., Probst, H., Beardmore, C., James, S., Dumbleton, C., Bolderston, A., ... Southgate, E. (2012). Radiotherapy skin care: A survey of practice in the UK. Radiography, 18 (1), 21-27. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2011.10.040

Probst, H., Eddy, D., Doughty, J., & Hodgson, D. (2009). Integrating e-learning into postgraduate radiotherapy and oncology education: a case study. E-Learning and digital media, 6 (4), 363-371. http://doi.org/10.2304/elea.2009.6.4.363

Probst, H., Dodwell, D., Gray, J.C., & Holmes, M. (2006). An evaluation of the accuracy of semi-permanent skin marks for breast cancer irradiation. Radiography, 12 (3), 186-188. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2005.07.001

Probst, H., & Griffiths, S. (2007). Retaining therapy radiographers: What's so special about us? Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice, 6 (1), 21-32. http://doi.org/10.1017/S1460396907005043

Probst, H., Holmes, M., & Dodwell, D. (2003). Radiotherapy waiting times, resources and protocols for breast carcinoma: A survey of UK radiotherapy centres. Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice, 3 (3), 113-121. http://doi.org/10.1017/S1460396903000116

Probst, H., Harris, R., McNair, H.A., Baker, A., Miles, E.A., & Beardmore, C. (2015). Research from therapeutic radiographers : an audit of research capacity within the UK. Radiography, 21 (2), 112-118. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2014.10.009

Probst, H., & Griffiths, S. (2009). Job satisfaction of therapy radiographers in the UK : results of a phase I qualitative study. Radiography, 15 (2), 146-157. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2008.02.003

Probst, H., Dodwell, D., Gray, J., & Holmes, M. (2005). Radiotherapy for breast carcinoma: An evaluation of the relationship between the central lung depth and respiratory symptoms. Radiography, 11 (1), 3-9. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2004.08.004

Harris, R., Beardmore, C., Probst, H., Burke, G., James, S., & Bolderston, A. (2015). Radiotherapy skin care guidance. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CANCER CARE, 24, 32.

Probst, H., & Griffiths, S. (1996). Increasing the work speed of radiographers: The effect on the accuracy of a set-up of a complex shaped cranial field, part of a matched cranio spinal junction. Radiotherapy and Oncology, 38 (3), 241-245. http://doi.org/10.1016/0167-8140(96)01710-0

Davies, J., Heaton, A., Love, K., Probst, H., McNair, H.A., Miles, E., ... Rawlings, C. (2007). Gap analysis of role definition and training needs for therapeutic research radiographers in the UK. British Journal of Radiology, 80 (957), 693-701. http://doi.org/10.1259/bjr/32519670

Probst, H., Reed, H., Rosbottom, K., Stanton, A., Crank, H., Bryan-Jones, K., & Collins, K. (2018). OC-0192: The development of a device to immobilise the breast during radiotherapy: The SuPPORT 4 All project. Radiotherapy and Oncology, 127, S103-S104. http://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-8140(18)30502-4

Probst, H., & Brealey, S. (2010). Health technology assessment. In Ramlaul, A. (Ed.) Medical imaging and radiotherapy research : skills and strategies. (pp. 123-156). London: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier

Choppin, S., Probst, H., Goyal, A., Clarkson, S., & Wheat, J. (2013). Breast volume calculation using a low-cost scanning system. In D'Apuzzo, N. (Ed.) Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on 3D Body Scanning Technologies, Long Beach CA, USA, 19-20 November 2013, (pp. 12-20). Ascona, Switzerland: Hometrica Consulting: http://doi.org/10.15221/13.012

Tran, W.T., Childs, C., Probst, H., Farhat, G., & Czarnota, G.J. (2018). Imaging Biomarkers for Precision Medicine in Locally Advanced Breast Cancer. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, 49 (4), 342-351. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmir.2017.09.006

Tran, W.T. (2018). Measuring Chemotherapy Response in Breast Cancer Using Optical and Ultrasound Spectroscopy. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Childs, C., Probst, H., & Czarnota, G.

Robinson, L., Goodwill, G., Harris, R., Johnson, L., LePensee, S., Mada, M., ... Williamson, M. (2018). Patient Public and Practitioner Partnerships within Imaging and Radiotherapy: Guiding Principles. https://www.sor.org/sites/default/files/document-versions/guiding_principles_final_proofed_0.pdf

Robinson, L., Goodwill, G., Harris, R., Johnson, L., LePensee, S., Mada, M., ... Williamson, M. (2018). Patient Public and Practitioner Partnerships within Imaging and Radiotherapy: Guiding Principles. https://www.sor.org/sites/default/files/document-versions/guiding_principles_final_proofed_0.pdf

Journal articles

Probst, H., Rosbottom, K., Crank, H., Stanton, A., & Reed, H. (2020). The patient experience of radiotherapy for breast cancer: A qualitative investigation as part of the SuPPORT 4 All study. Radiography. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2020.09.011

Probst, H., Burke, G., & Faithfull, S. (2020). The systematic review (appendix 4). It is a published guideline not a journal. https://www.sor.org/news/scor-updates-radiation-dermatitis-guidelines

Probst, H., Burke, G., & Faithfull, S. (2020). The systematic review (appendix 4). It is a published guideline not a journal. https://www.sor.org/news/scor-updates-radiation-dermatitis-guidelines

Probst, H., Barry, J., Clough, H., Lindley, M., Mather, R., Newton, H., ... Burton, M. (2020). Resource to prepare patients for deep inspiration breath hold: the RESPIRE project. Radiography, 26, S10. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2019.11.027

Clarkson, M., Heads, G., Hodgson, D., & Probst, H. (2019). Does the intervention of mindfulness reduce levels of burnout and compassion fatigue and increase resilience in pre-registration students? A pilot study. Radiography, 25 (1), 4-9. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2018.08.003

Williams, K., & Probst, H. (2016). Use of IV contrast media in radiotherapy planning CT scans: A UK audit. Radiography, 22 (1), S28-S32. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2016.06.006

Hardy, M., & Probst, H. (2015). Engineering Patient Safety in Radiation Oncology. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, 46 (4), 450. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmir.2015.09.008

Probst, H., Boylan, M., Nelson, P., & Martin, R.W. (2014). Early career resilience: interdisciplinary insights to support professional education of Radiation Therapists. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, 45 (4), 390-398. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmir.2014.09.003

Probst, H., Hutton, D., Collins, M.L., & Adams, R. (2014). Response to editorial in the JRP by robson, clark and white 2014 patient safety: The journey towards safer radiotherapy. Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice, 13 (2), 247-250. http://doi.org/10.1017/S1460396914000120

Probst, H., Taylor, A., Bragg, C., Dodwell, D., Haake, S., Hart, J., ... Shuttleworth, P. (2012). PO-0956 support positioning and organ registration during breast cancer irradiation : the Support 4 All study. Radiotherapy and Oncology, 103 (S1), S376-S377. http://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-8140(12)71289-6

Probst, H., Gallagher, H.L., & Harris, R. (2011). Research and the radiography profession: A strategy for research 2010-2015. Radiography, 17 (4), 268-269. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2011.08.001

Probst, H., & Harris, R. (2009). Getting started with research. Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice, 8 (2), 57-65. http://doi.org/10.1017/S1460396908006572

Vrouvas, J., Dodwell, D., Ash, D., & Probst, H. (1995). Split course radiotherapy for bladder cancer in elderly unfit patients. Clinical Oncology, 7 (3), 193-195. http://doi.org/10.1016/S0936-6555(05)80515-1

Conference papers

Ledsom, D., Reilly, A., & Probst, H. (2016). Does level of DIBH amplitude correlate to reduction in cardiac dose in left breast cancer patients? (Abstract only). Radiotherapy and Oncology, 119, S486-S487. http://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-8140(16)32253-8

Smith, G., Robson, P., & Probst, H. (2016). EP-2078: PROSPECT: Phase 2 rescanning of seromas in patients to evaluate CTV reduction in breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 119 (Supp1), S980. http://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-8140(16)33329-1

Williams, K., & Probst, H. (2016). Use of IV contrast media in pre-treatment radiotherapy planning CT scans: A UK study (Abstract only). Radiotherapy and Oncology, 119, S174-S175. http://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-8140(16)31623-1

Smith, G., Robson, P., & Probst, H. (2016). PROSPECT: Phase 2 rescanning of seromas in patients to evaluate CTV reduction in breast cancer (Abstract only). Radiotherapy and Oncology, 119, S980. http://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-8140(16)33329-1

Probst, H., Wright, C., Lindley, M., Walsh, S., Holland, T., & Sidway, S. (2013). Using mobile technology to develop research skills in clinically based allied health professionals. In UK Radiotherapy and Oncology (UKRO) Conference, East Midland Conference Centre, 21 October 2013 - 23 October 2013.

Probst, H., Eddy, A., & Garth, A. (2011). Supporting the Academic Development of Advanced Practice in Breast Cancer Radiotherapy. CLINICAL ONCOLOGY, 23 (3), S16. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.clon.2011.01.350

Probst, H., & Griffiths, S. (2007). Time for a change: Is it time to consider job redesign for therapy radiographers? CLINICAL ONCOLOGY, 19 (3), S43. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.clon.2007.01.410

Reports

Probst, H., & Burke, G. (2020). Radiation Dermatitis Guidelines for Radiotherapy Healthcare Professionals. College of Radiographers. https://www.sor.org/learning/document-library/radiation-dermatitis-guidelines-radiotherapy-healthcare-professionals

Probst, H., & Burke, G. (2020). Radiation Dermatitis Guidelines for Radiotherapy Healthcare Professionals. College of Radiographers. https://www.sor.org/learning/document-library/radiation-dermatitis-guidelines-radiotherapy-healthcare-professionals

Theses / Dissertations

Taylor, A.V. (2020). Defining compassion and compassionate behaviours in radiotherapy. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Robert, A., Hodgson, D., Burton, M., Collins, K., & Probst, H. http://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00373

Collins, M. (2018). Clinical reasoning in image guided radiotherapy: A multimethod study. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Probst, H. http://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00124

Patents

Stanton, A., Reed, H., & Probst, H. (2019). BRASSIERE WITH INFLATABLE BLADDER. GB20160010811 20160621. https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&ND=5&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20191031&CC=GB&NR=2551534A&KC=A

Stanton, A., Reed, H., & Probst, H. (2019). BRASSIERE WITH INFLATABLE BLADDER. GB20160010811 20160621. https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&ND=5&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20191031&CC=GB&NR=2551534A&KC=A

Internet Publications

Harris, R., Beardmore, C., Bolderston, A., Burke, G., James, S., & Probst, H. (2015). Skin care advice for patients undergoing radical external beam megavoltage radiotherapy. https://www.sor.org/learning/document-library/skin-care-advice-patients-undergoing-radical-external-beam-megavoltage-radiotherapy-0

Harris, R., Beardmore, C., Bolderston, A., Burke, G., James, S., & Probst, H. (2015). Skin care advice for patients undergoing radical external beam megavoltage radiotherapy. https://www.sor.org/learning/document-library/skin-care-advice-patients-undergoing-radical-external-beam-megavoltage-radiotherapy-0

Artefacts

Reed, H., Probst, H., & Stanton, A. (2018). Support 4 All Cancer therapy bra. https://lab4living.org.uk/projects/support4all/

Presentations

Probst, H. (2016). Support, Positioning and Organ Stabilisation during Breast Cancer Radiation Therapy : SuPPORT 4 All Study. Presented at: UK Radiation Oncology Conference, Liverpool, 2016

Posters

Probst, H. (2020). A randomised clinical feasibility trial of a breast immobilisation device: The SuPPORT 4 All (S4A) Project. Presented at: UK Imaging and Oncology Conference, Virtual, 2020

Hooton, R., & Probst, H. (2018). On-treatment imaging for breast irradiation: evaluating accuracy using MV vs. kV techniques. Presented at: Disease and diversity, ACC Liverpool, 2018

Rosbottom, K., Probst, H., Choppin, S., Bragg, C.M., Collins, K., Crank, H., ... Langley, J. (2016). Using 3D stereophotogrammetry to evaluate the stability, and positional accuracy of a breast immobilisation device. Presented at: UK Radiation Oncology Conference, Liverpool, 2016

Datasets

Probst, H. (n.d.). A support bra to improve accuracy of radiation therapy for women having treatment to the breast.. http://doi.org/10.1186/isrctn38272993

Other activities

Chair of the College of Radiographers (CoR) Research funding panel
Chair of the Breast Radiotherapy Interest Group (BRIG)
Co-chair of the CoR Research Network
Associate Editor of the Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences
Associate Editor of the Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice.

Postgraduate supervision

Exploring professional development experiences of advanced therapeutic radiographers: A Grounded Theory Study DProf
Clinical Reasoning in Image Guided Radiotherapy: An Observational Study DProf
Optical and Ultrasound Spectroscopy As Early Indicators of Chemotherapy Response in Women with Advanced Breast Cancer PhD
Evaluating the SuPPORT4All bra for breast stabilisation, positioning accuracy, comfort and dignity PhD
Patient experiences of developing breast lymphoedema following treatment for breast cancer (PhD)

Robert Appleyard, Developing spatial cognition of brain anatomy using an immersive virtual environment PhD

Media

Heidi is a reader in Radiotherapy and specialises in treatment for breast cancer. Her current research is looking at ways to improve the accuracy and reproducibility of breast irradiation whilst making sure the patient experience is as positive as possible. She also has an interest in developing resilience in the radiotherapy workforce in order to avoid emotional exhaustion (known as burnout).

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