Dysphagia, trismus and speech impairment following radiation-based treatment for advanced stage oropharyngeal carcinoma: a one-year prospective evaluation.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The objective was to assess swallowing, mouth opening and speech function during the first year after radiation-based treatment (RT(+)) after introduction of a dedicated preventive rehabilitation program for stage III-IV oropharyngeal carcinoma (OPC).

CONCLUSION

Despite successful implementation, a substantial proportion of patients still experience functional limitations after RT(+) for OPC, suggesting room for improvement of the current rehabilitation program. Pretreatment sarcopenia seems associated with worse functional outcomes and might be a relevant new target for rehabilitation strategies.

RESULTS

Objective and patient-perceived function deteriorated until 6 months and improved until 12 months after treatment, but did not return to baseline levels with 25%, 20% and 58% of the patients with objective dysphagia, trismus and speech problems, respectively. Feeding tube dependency and pneumonia prevalence was low.

METHODS

Swallowing, mouth opening and speech function were collected before and at six- and twelve-month follow-up after RT(+) for OPC as part of ongoing prospective assessments by speech-language pathologists .

More about this publication

European archives of oto-rhino-laryngology : official journal of the European Federation of Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Societies (EUFOS) : affiliated with the German Society for Oto-Rhino-Laryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
  • Volume 279
  • Issue nr. 2
  • Pages 1003-1027
  • Publication date 01-02-2022

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