Identification and management of late dysfunction in survivors of head and neck cancer: Implementation and outcomes of an interdisciplinary quality of life (IQOL) clinic

Barbara Ebersole, Liane McCarroll, John A. Ridge, Jeffrey C. Liu, Jessica Bauman, Steven Donnelly, Thomas J. Galloway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Identifying and treating late dysfunction in survivors of head and neck cancer (HNC) is important; however, an effective way to do so is not established. Methods: A quality improvement initiative altering our HNC survivorship clinic to include surveillance by rehabilitation providers was undertaken. The nature of dysfunction identified, along with the number and type of referrals to ancillary/support services were collected and compared to baseline. Results: The baseline, single-provider, clinic evaluated 61 patients and referred 2 (3%) to ancillary/support services. Fifty-seven patients were evaluated in the interdisciplinary clinic, with 36 (63%) referred to at least one ancillary/support service for new/progressive dysfunction. Of 59 referrals made, 22 (37%) were for dysphagia, 17(29%) were for neck/shoulder dysfunction, and 28 (47%) were attended by the patient. Conclusion: Many HNC survivors exhibit late dysfunction appropriate for referral to ancillary/support services. A survivorship clinic including surveillance by rehabilitation specialists may optimize identification of dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2124-2135
Number of pages12
JournalHead and Neck
Volume43
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Keywords

  • dysphagia
  • head and neck cancer
  • late dysfunction
  • quality of life
  • rehabilitation
  • survivorship

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