- Two-year results of a prospective preventive swallowing rehabilitation trial in patients treated with chemoradiation for advanced head and neck cancer
- European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
- Volume | Issue number
- 271 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
The objective of the study was the assessment of the results of a prospective clinical trial with two preventive swallowing rehabilitation programs on the long-term side effects of chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) in advanced head and neck cancer patients. The study cohort consisted of 29 patients, randomized in two exercise groups: a standard (S) group receiving routine swallowing exercises (N = 14), and an experimental (E) group receiving swallowing exercises based on the TheraBite® Jaw Motion Rehabilitation System™ (N = 15). Assessment of functional changes was carried out with multidimensional outcome measures (e.g., videofluoroscopy, study-specific questionnaires) at four time points (pre-treatment, at 10 weeks, 1 year, and 2 years post-treatment). Overall, in the first year post-treatment many initial tumor- and treatment-related problems diminished significantly, except xerostomia (59 %). The only additional improvement at 2 years was that the overall weight significantly further increased (p = 0.000), however, without regaining baseline value. In the subgroup analysis according to exercise group, this difference was significant in the E-group only (p = 0.002). The same was the case for the subgroup analysis according to site of disease, with a significant weight gain in the ‘below the hyoid bone’ group only. This study shows that the overall functional problems at 1 and 2 years post-CCRT are limited. Both rehabilitation programs produce similar results, with a slight but significant benefit for the E-group in weight gain at 2 years, as also seen in the ‘below the hyoid bone’ group. Both rehabilitation programs applied are feasible and show good compliance despite the burdensome CCRT.
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