What are the patient variables associated with swallowing dysfunction in head and neck cancer (HNCa) patients prior to intervention?
Background: Recent studies have shown that pretreatment deficits are common in HNCa patients, particularly those with advanced stage disease. Further, the research has shown poor correlation between measurable deficits and patients’ perceptions of these deficits. Determining aspiration risk prior to treatment may assist in ensuring optimal intervention by the speech language pathologist through application of compensatory maneuvers, dietary modifications and rehabilitative interventions. Understanding pretreatment organ function may also influence the oncologic treatment approach.
Explore this issue:June 2011
Study Design: Prospective, multi-institutional cohort study.
Setting: Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins medical institutions, Baltimore, Md.; Department of Otolaryngology, MCG Center for Voice and Swallowing Disorders, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta.