The lived experience of dysphagia following non-surgical treatment for head and neck cancer

Nund, Rebecca L., Ward, Elizabeth C., Scarinci, Nerina A., Cartmill, Bena, Kuipers, Pim and Porceddu, Sandro V (2014) The lived experience of dysphagia following non-surgical treatment for head and neck cancer. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 16 3: 282-289. doi:10.3109/17549507.2013.861869

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Author Nund, Rebecca L.
Ward, Elizabeth C.
Scarinci, Nerina A.
Cartmill, Bena
Kuipers, Pim
Porceddu, Sandro V
Title The lived experience of dysphagia following non-surgical treatment for head and neck cancer
Journal name International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1754-9507
1754-9515
Publication date 2014-06-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3109/17549507.2013.861869
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 16
Issue 3
Start page 282
End page 289
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Informa Healthcare
Language eng
Abstract The prevalence and severity of dysphagia in people treated non-surgically for primary head and neck cancer (HNC) is well documented. However, few studies have looked beyond the physiological impairment to explore the lived experience of dysphagia in the post-treatment period of HNC. The current study adopted a person-centred, qualitative approach to describe the experiences of people living with dysphagia in the months and years following non-surgical treatment for HNC. Using maximum variation sampling, 24 participants who had undergone radiotherapy treatment for HNC were recruited. Individual interviews were conducted to explore the impact of dysphagia on participants' everyday lives. The themes identified included: (1) physical changes related to swallowing; (2) emotions evoked by living with dysphagia; (3) altered perceptions and changes in appreciation of food; and (4) personal and lifestyle impacts. The data revealed the breadth and significance of the impact of dysphagia on the lives of people treated curatively for HNC. Assessment and management in the post-treatment period must be sufficiently holistic to address both the changing physical states and the psychosocial needs of people with dysphagia following HNC. Rehabilitation services which focus only on impairment-based management will fail to fully meet the support needs of this clinical population.
Formatted abstract
The prevalence and severity of dysphagia in people treated non-surgically for primary head and neck cancer (HNC) is well documented. However, few studies have looked beyond the physiological impairment to explore the lived experience of dysphagia in the post-treatment period of HNC. The current study adopted a person-centred, qualitative approach to describe the experiences of people living with dysphagia in the months and years following non-surgical treatment for HNC. Using maximum variation sampling, 24 participants who had undergone radiotherapy treatment for HNC were recruited. Individual interviews were conducted to explore the impact of dysphagia on participants’ everyday lives. The themes identified included: (1) physical changes related to swallowing; (2) emotions evoked by living with dysphagia; (3) altered perceptions and changes in appreciation of food; and (4) personal and lifestyle impacts. The data revealed the breadth and significance of the impact of dysphagia on the lives of people treated curatively for HNC. Assessment and management in the post-treatment period must be sufficiently holistic to address both the changing physical states and the psychosocial needs of people with dysphagia following HNC. Rehabilitation services which focus only on impairment-based management will fail to fully meet the support needs of this clinical population.
Keyword Dysphagia
Head and Neck Cancer
Radiotherapy
Psychosocial effects
Qualitative research
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Posted online on December 18, 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
School of Medicine Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 16 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 14 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 05 Jan 2014, 01:46:17 EST by Rebecca Nund on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences