The effect of postoperative swallowing rehabilitation on swallowing function and QOL in patients with head and neck cancer

Kazumi Ono, Masahiro Kohzuki, Makoto Nagasaka, Yukio Katori, Osamu Ito, Kiyoto Shiga, Satoru Ebihara, Toshimitsu Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Postoperative swallowing dysfunction is thought to impair the quality of life (QOL) in patients with head and neck cancer surgery. However, few studies have thoroughly investigated the relationship among swallowing dysfunction, QOL and swallowing rehabilitation. This study evaluated the effect of postoperative swallowing rehabilitation on the postoperative swallowing function and QOL. The subjects were 27 patients who underwent surgery for head and neck cancer at the Tohoku University Hospital between 2006 and 2009. Thirteen patients who received postoperative swallowing exercises for two months served as the REHA group. Fourteen patients who did not receive postoperative swallowing exercises served as the Control group. Assessment of Frenchay Dysarthria Assessment test (FDA), speech intelligibility, swallowing function and The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire H&N35 (QLQ-H&N35) was conducted just before the operation (before the rehabilitation), and three months (after the rehabilitation) after surgery. In REHA group, FDA score improved significantly compared with the Control group. With regard to the QLQ-H&N35, the score for open mouth, pain, social contact score improved in the REHA group. Performing postoperative swallowing exercise produces improvements in the post-treatment swallowing function in patients with surgery for head and neck cancer. Postoperative rehabilitation, especially postoperative swallowing exercises may be effective in improving the swallowing dysfunction and QOL in patients with head and neck cancer surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
JournalToukeibu Gan
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Head and neck cancer
  • Quality of life (QOL)
  • Swallowing rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Oncology

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