Computerized monitoring of patient-reported speech and swallowing problems in head and neck cancer patients in clinical practice
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study is to evaluate computerized monitoring of speech and swallowing outcomes and its impact on quality of life (QoL) and emotional well-being in head and neck cancer patients in an outpatient clinic.
Sixty-seven patients, treated by single or multimodality treatment, completed the EORTC QLQ-C30 and QLQ-H&N35 questionnaires and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale in an outpatient clinic, using a touch screen computer system (OncoQuest), at baseline (at time of diagnosis) and first follow-up (1 month after end of treatment).
Tumor sites included oral cavity (n = 12), oropharynx (n = 18), hypopharynx (n = 8), and larynx (n = 29). Tumor stage included carcinoma in situ (n = 3), stage I (n = 21), stage II (n = 7), stage III (n = 15), and IV (n = 21). No speech or swallowing problems at baseline or follow-up were noted in 23 % (speech) and 41 % (swallowing) of patients. Twenty-one percent (speech) and 19 % (swallowing) had problems at baseline and returned to normal scores at follow-up, while 16 % (speech) and 19 % (swallowing) had normal scores at baseline and developed problems at follow-up. Forty percent (speech) and 21 % (swallowing) had persistent problems from baseline to follow-up. At baseline, speech problems were significantly related to tumor site and emotional distress. At baseline and follow-up, swallowing problems were significantly related to QoL and emotional distress. At follow-up, speech problems were significantly related to QoL, emotional distress, and swallowing problems.
Monitoring speech and swallowing problems through OncoQuest in an outpatient clinic is feasible. Many patients report speech and swallowing problems, negatively affecting their QoL and emotional well-being.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Irma Verdonck-de Leeuw, Jun 21, 2015
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ABSTRACT: Objectives: To validate questionnaires on voice, speech, and swallowing among laryngeal cancer patients, to assess the need for and use of rehabilitation services, and to determine the association between voice, speech, and swallowing problems, and quality of life and distress. Materials and methods: Laryngeal cancer patients at least three months post-treatment completed the VHI (voice), SHI (speech), SWAL-QOL (swallowing), EORTC QLQ-C30, QLQ-HN35, HADS, and study-specific questions on rehabilitation. Results: Eighty-eight patients and 110 healthy controls participated. Cut off scores of 15, 6, and 14 were defined for the VHI, SHI, and SWAL-QOL (sensitivity > 90%; specificity > 80%). Based on these scores, 56% of the patients reported voice, 63% speech, and 54% swallowing problems. VHI, SHI, and SWAL-QOL scores were associated significantly with quality of life (EORTC QLQ-C30 global quality of life scale) (r = .43 (VHI and SHI) and r = .46 (SWAL-QOL)) and distress (r = .50 (VHI and SHI) and r = .58 (SWAL-QOL)). In retrospect, 32% of the patients indicated the need for rehabilitation at time of treatment, and 81% of these patients availed themselves of such services. Post-treatment, 8% of the patients expressed a need for rehabilitation, and 20% of these patients actually made use of such services. Conclusion: Psychometric characteristics of the VHI, SHI, and SWAL-QOL in laryngeal cancer patients are good. The prevalence of voice, speech, and swallowing problems is high, and clearly related to quality of life and distress. Although higher during than after treatment, the perceived need for and use of rehabilitation services is limited.Oral Oncology 06/2014; 50(8). DOI:10.1016/j.oraloncology.2014.05.009 · 3.03 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Dysphagia, or swallowing impairment, is a serious sequel of head and neck cancer (HNC) and its treatment. This review focuses on the rapidly growing literature published during the past 2 years about the current assessment and treatment strategies of dysphagia in HNC patients. Functional swallowing assessment has become standard of care in many HNC centers, to prevent or identify (silent) aspiration, to optimize functional outcomes, and to determine the appropriate rehabilitation strategy. Also preventive swallowing exercises are considered more and more in the pretreatment setting with promising results on (pharyngeal) swallowing function. However, there is a lack of consensus regarding type, frequency, or intensity of the exercises. Furthermore, long-term follow-up of swallowing function might be necessary, given the potential for long-term sequels following HNC treatment. Regarding dysphagia evaluation, there is still a lack of a uniform 'gold-standard' for both assessment and treatment strategies. More high-quality data, adequately controlled, adequately powered and randomized, on prophylactic and therapeutic swallowing exercises are needed, with longer follow-up and better adherence to treatment, for better understanding the effects of chemo and radiotherapy dosage, and of frequency, timing and duration of treatment, to improve swallowing function and optimize quality of life.Current opinion in supportive and palliative care 04/2014; DOI:10.1097/SPC.0000000000000050