J Korean Dysphagia Soc.  2012 Jul;2(2):53-61.

Swallowing Therapy and Quality of Life in Head and Neck Cancer Patients

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Unit of Occupational Therapy, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Abstract


Objective
The purpose of this study is to know the change of swallowing function and quality of life when applying swallowing therapy to dysphagia patients with head and neck cancer. Method: Test subjects are dysphagia who received swallowing therapy for diagnosis of head and neck cancer at A hospital. Treatments are conducted by compensational therapy which include postural control and modification diet and rehabilitation therapy for increase oropharyngeal function and sensory function, averagely 2-3 times a week for 16 weeks. And evaluations of swallowing function, diet level, and quality of life conducted before and after swallowing therapy. Result: When aspect of swallowing function is examined before swallowing therapy, bolus formation decrease & oral residue are seen at 86.95% in oral phase. In pharyngeal phase, pharyngeal triggering delay at 82.61% and residue is seen in valleculae and pyriform sinuses at 95.65%. After swallowing therapy, bolus formation score is increased significantly 4.30±2.18 to 3.00±2.22 by functional dysphagia scale. On the other hand, residue in valleculae is decreased significantly 8.17±3.90 to 7.83±3.71 and residue in pyriform sinuses is also decreased 7.65±3.80 to 5.91±3.38. The Change of diet measured by ASHA NOMS is not significantly 2.13±2.80 to 2.91±2.92. In EORTC QLQ C-30, quality of life in normal function and symptom has no significant change. But, scale in EORTC HN-35, the point is decreased significantly 62.50±28.33 to 52.31±30.89 in swallowing, and 58.52±30.12 to 43.33±32.84 in social contact. It means that quality of life in swallowing and social activity is improved significantly. Also at the question about weight loss, the point is decreased 50.00±40.02 to 25.93±38.87. So satisfaction in weight change is improved significantly.
Conclusion
There is improvement of swallowing function and quality of life when applying swallowing therapy to dysphagia patients with head and neck cancer.

Keyword

Dysphagia; Head and neck cancer; Quality of life
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