Interventions for head and neck cancer survivors: Systematic review

Head and neck cancer survivors have distinctive experiences and needs, many of which are unfortunately not addressed by current interventions. This systematic review included 28 trials, thirteen of which were randomised controlled trials, from countries across the world. The interventions that were evaluated in these trials were categorised according to the Quality of Cancer Survivorship Care Framework. The authors found that the majority of interventions centred around surveillance and management of physical and psychosocial effects of head and neck cancer treatment. However, within these studies, several common psychosocial symptoms (fatigue, depression, and cognitive function), treatment side effects (hearing loss and renal dysfunction), and associated sleep disorders for head and neck cancer survivors were not addressed. While quality of life and function were assessed in these interventions, other crucial aspect of survivorship care such as financial toxicity, mortality, and healthcare services use were left out as well. The limitations of the study included that the sample size of trials included were relatively small, and results of the included trials may have been affected by medium to high risk levels of bias. This review highlighted opportunities for head and neck cancer survivorship interventions to focus on other areas of the Quality of Cancer Survivorship Care Framework, such as health promotion and disease prevention, or surveillance and management of chronic medical conditions. Further research could also evaluate interventions around common symptoms, side effects, and disorders associated with head and neck cancer survivorship, as well as patient outcomes that relate to costs and healthcare services. Read the original article here.    
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