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Using PROMs to guide patients and practitioners through the head and neck cancer journey

Authors Rogers SN, Barber B

Received 4 July 2017

Accepted for publication 5 October 2017

Published 8 November 2017 Volume 2017:8 Pages 133—142


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Liana Bruce (formerly Castel)

Simon N Rogers,1,2 Brittany Barber3

1Evidence-Based Practice Research Centre (EPRC), Faculty of Health and Social Care, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK; 2Regional Maxillofacial Unit, University Hospital Aintree, Liverpool, UK; 3Head and Neck Department, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (MSSM), New York, NY, USA

Abstract: The measurement of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) following head and neck cancer (HNC) has the capacity to substantially enhance the care of patients and their care-givers following the diagnosis and treatment of HNC. Literature concerning PROMs has increased exponentially in the past 2 decades, producing a vast array of data upon which the multidisciplinary team can reflect. For this review, “Handle On QOL” has been used as a source of references to illustrate the points raised. PROMs are contextualized by considering the clinically-distinct key stages that cancer patients endure: diagnosis, treatment, acute toxicity, early recovery, late effects, recurrence, and palliation. The PROMs are considered in six main categories: 1) those addressing cornucopia of issues not specific to cancer; 2) those addressing issues common to all cancers; 3) questionnaires with items specific to HNC; 4) questionnaires that focus on a particular aspect of head and neck function; 5) those measuring psychological concerns, such as depression, anxiety, or self-esteem; and 6) item prompt lists. Potential benefits of PROMs in clinical practice are discussed, as are barriers to use. The way forward in integrating PROMs into routine HNC care is discussed with an emphasis on information technology.

Keywords: patient reported outcomes, head and neck cancer, quality of life, multi-professional

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