Evaluation of a weekly speech pathology/dietetic service model for providing supportive care intervention to head and neck cancer patients and their carers during (chemo)radiotherapy

Wall, Laurelie R., Cartmill, Bena, Ward, Elizabeth C., Hill, Anne J., Isenring, Elizabeth and Porceddu, Sandro V. (2015) Evaluation of a weekly speech pathology/dietetic service model for providing supportive care intervention to head and neck cancer patients and their carers during (chemo)radiotherapy. Supportive Care in Cancer, 24 3: 1227-1234. doi:10.1007/s00520-015-2912-5


Author Wall, Laurelie R.
Cartmill, Bena
Ward, Elizabeth C.
Hill, Anne J.
Isenring, Elizabeth
Porceddu, Sandro V.
Title Evaluation of a weekly speech pathology/dietetic service model for providing supportive care intervention to head and neck cancer patients and their carers during (chemo)radiotherapy
Journal name Supportive Care in Cancer   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1433-7339
0941-4355
Publication date 2015-08-25
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00520-015-2912-5
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 24
Issue 3
Start page 1227
End page 1234
Total pages 8
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose: Dysphagia is a common and debilitating side effect for head and neck cancer (HNC) patients undergoing radiotherapy (RT) with or without chemotherapy ([C]RT) and is associated with nutritional and emotional comorbidities. Emotional sequelae and distress are also known to affect carers of HNC patients. A weekly, joint speech pathology/dietetic (SP/DN) service-delivery model has been employed to manage swallowing/nutritional and associated emotional issues during (C)RT. This study aimed to conduct a service evaluation of the weekly SP/DN clinical model.

Methods: Cross-sectional sampling of core service metrics and perceptions of key stakeholders (70 HNC patients, 30 carers, and 10 clinicians) were collated from the Metro South Radiation Oncology Service in Brisbane, Australia. Data from each source was examined separately and then triangulated.

Results: An average of 28 patients (SD = 5.54) attended SP/DN appointments per week, with 58 % reporting swallowing and/or nutritional issues. Distress was reported by 27 % of patients and 30 % of carers. Clinicians felt able to adequately identify and manage swallowing and nutrition 90 % of the time but only 10 % of the time for distress. Seventy-six percent of scheduled SP/DN sessions were perceived as necessary by either patients, clinicians or both.

Conclusions: Findings demonstrated a third of patients and their carers had a high level of distress during HNC [C]RT, supporting need for the provision of a weekly SP/DN service in a select cohort. However, the routine weekly SP/DN assessment model for all patients undergoing HNC treatment demonstrates the potential for over-servicing. Alternative service-delivery models warrant further evaluation.
Keyword Head and neck cancer
Service evaluation
Service-delivery
Supportive care intervention
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
School of Medicine Publications
 
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