Painted masks reduce anxiety for paediatric radiation patients

Radiation therapy for cancer treatment is a scary time for anyone, let alone children. But some of our talented staff are determined to make the experience a little more comfortable for our youngest patients and their families.

The Royal Adelaide Hospital treats some of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital paediatric cancer patients using our radiation therapy equipment.

Radiation Therapists Briony, Trang and Julia (not pictured) are not only skilled in their profession but are amazing artists who donate their time to decorate the masks with a theme chosen by the patient.

The masks have been decorated with different designs including Frozen, Bluey, Tarzan and Peppa Pig.

Briony, who hadn’t touched a paintbrush since year 11, has found that working on these projects has given her an outlet and a way to wind down.

“I love doing these, it’s very therapeutic for me,” said Briony.

“The artwork makes what is a clinical device more personal and the patient experience more positive.”

Masking tape is used to cover the area to be drawn on and then paint and markers are used to create these masterpieces.

“Having these beautiful pieces of artwork for the first day of treatment helps to reduce the anxiety experienced by both the patient and their parents,” said Natasha Tunney, Business Improvement Manager, Cancer Services.