I.M. Verdonck-de Leeuw
R. de Bree
- Prevalence of swallowing and speech problems in daily life after chemoradiation for head and neck cancer based on cut-off scores of the patient-reported outcome measures SWAL-QOL and SHI
- European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
- Volume | Issue number
- 273 | 7
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
The objective of this study is to assess swallowing and speech outcome after chemoradiation therapy for head and neck cancer, based on the patient-reported outcome measures Swallowing Quality of Life Questionnaire (SWAL-QOL) and Speech Handicap Index (SHI), both provided with cut-off scores. This is a cross-sectional study. Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery of a University Medical Center. Sixty patients, 6 months to 5 years after chemoradiation for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Swallowing Quality of Life Questionnaire (SWAL-QOL) and SHI, both validated in Dutch and provided with cut-off scores. Associations were tested between the outcome measures and independent variables (age, gender, tumor stage and site, and radiotherapy technique, time since treatment, comorbidity and food intake). Fifty-two patients returned the SWAL-QOL and 47 the SHI (response rate 87 and 78 %, respectively). Swallowing and speech problems were present in 79 and 55 %, respectively. Normal food intake was noticed in 45, 35 % had a soft diet and 20 % tube feeding. Patients with soft diet and tube feeding reported more swallowing problems compared to patients with normal oral intake. Tumor subsite was significantly associated with swallowing outcome (less problems in larynx/hypopharynx compared to oral/oropharynx). Radiation technique was significantly associated with psychosocial speech problems (less problems in patients treated with IMRT). Swallowing and (to a lesser extent) speech problems in daily life are frequently present after chemoradiation therapy for head and neck cancer. Future prospective studies will give more insight into the course of speech and swallowing problems after chemoradiation and into efficacy of new radiation techniques and swallowing and speech rehabilitation programs.
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