Swallowing outcomes following Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) for head & neck cancer - A systematic review
ABSTRACT A systematic review to establish what evidence is available for swallowing outcomes following IMRT for head and neck cancer.
Online electronic databases were searched to identify papers published in English from January 1998 to December 2009. Papers were independently appraised by two reviewers for methodological quality, method of swallowing evaluation and categorized according to the World Health Organisation's International Classification of Health Functions. The impact of radiation dose to dysphagia aspiration risk structures (DARS) was also evaluated.
Sixteen papers met the inclusion criteria. The literature suggests that limiting the radiation dose to certain structures may result in favourable swallowing outcomes. Methodological limitations included variable assessment methods and outcome measures and heterogeneity of patients. There are only limited prospective data, especially where pre-treatment measures have been taken and compared to serial post-treatment assessment.
Few studies have investigated the impact of IMRT on swallow function and the impact on everyday life. Initial studies have reported potential benefits but are limited in terms of study design and outcome data. Further well designed, prospective, longitudinal swallowing studies including multidimensional evaluation methods are required to enable a more comprehensive understanding of dysphagia complications and inform pre-treatment counselling and rehabilitation planning.
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ABSTRACT: Concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) for advanced head and neck cancer (HNC) is associated with substantial early and late side effects, most notably regarding swallowing function, but also regarding voice quality and quality of life (QoL). Despite increased awareness/knowledge on acute dysphagia in HNC survivors, long-term (i.e., beyond 5 years) prospectively collected data on objective and subjective treatment-induced functional outcomes (and their impact on QoL) still are scarce. The objective of this study was the assessment of long-term CCRT-induced results on swallowing function and voice quality in advanced HNC patients. The study was conducted as a randomized controlled trial on preventive swallowing rehabilitation (2006-2008) in a tertiary comprehensive HNC center with twenty-two disease-free and evaluable HNC patients as participants. Multidimensional assessment of functional sequels was performed with videofluoroscopy, mouth opening measurements, Functional Oral Intake Scale, acoustic voice parameters, and (study specific, SWAL-QoL, and VHI) questionnaires. Outcome measures at 6 years post-treatment were compared with results at baseline and at 2 years post-treatment. At a mean follow-up of 6.1 years most initial tumor-, and treatment-related problems remained similarly low to those observed after 2 years follow-up, except increased xerostomia (68 %) and increased (mild) pain (32 %). Acoustic voice analysis showed less voicedness, increased fundamental frequency, and more vocal effort for the tumors located below the hyoid bone (n = 12), without recovery to baseline values. Patients' subjective vocal function (VHI score) was good. Functional swallowing and voice problems at 6 years post-treatment are minimal in this patient cohort, originating from preventive and continued post-treatment rehabilitation programs.
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ABSTRACT: To appraise the current videofluoroscopic evidence on the reduction of aspiration using thickened liquids in the head and neck cancer population.Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery 10/2014; 152(2). DOI:10.1177/0194599814556239 · 1.72 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) is an internationally recognized framework which allows its user to describe the consequences of a health condition on an individual in the context of their environment. With growing recognition that dysphagia can have broad ranging physical and psychosocial impacts, the aim of this paper was to identify the ICF domains and categories that describe the full functional impact of dysphagia following non-surgical head and neck cancer (HNC) management, from the perspective of the person with dysphagia. A secondary analysis was conducted on previously published qualitative study data which explored the lived experiences of dysphagia of 24 individuals with self-reported swallowing difficulties following HNC management. Categories and sub-categories identified by the qualitative analysis were subsequently mapped to the ICF using the established linking rules to develop a set of ICF codes relevant to the impact of dysphagia following HNC management. The 69 categories and sub-categories that had emerged from the qualitative analysis were successfully linked to 52 ICF codes. The distribution of these codes across the ICF framework revealed that the components of Body Functions, Activities and Participation, and Environmental Factors were almost equally represented. The findings confirm that the ICF is a valuable framework for representing the complexity and multifaceted impact of dysphagia following HNC. This list of ICF codes, which reflect the diverse impact of dysphagia associated with HNC on the individual, can be used to guide more holistic assessment and management for this population.Dysphagia 08/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00455-014-9563-4 · 1.60 Impact Factor