Improving quality of life and swallowing function in patients with head and neck cancer: Development and feasibility of a Swallowing Intervention Package (SIP)

  Due to increasing incidence, more intensive treatment and improved survival, a growing number of head and neck cancer (HNC) survivors experience long-term swallowing difficulties, profoundly affecting eating/drinking, increasing feeding tube dependence and risk of aspiration (food/fluid entering the airway) and significantly reducing quality of life. Some evidence suggests that swallowing exercises can improve outcomes in HNC patients undergoing chemo-radiotherapy. However, many questions remain about the timing, selection and duration of exercises as well as their practicality and feasibility in the UK. This study will develop a practical Swallowing Intervention Package (SIP), including adherence and fidelity measures, in partnership with patients and speech and language therapists. Focus groups and consensus workshops will be followed by a feasibility study using qualitative and quantitative methods to examine treatment fidelity, adherence to and impact of the SIP on quality of life, swallowing outcomes and service use, in order to inform a future trial.
This collaborative CSO project, led by University of Stirling (CSO grant reference, CZH/4/1052, total project value £251,094)

  • Start Date:

    1 August 2016

  • End Date:

    31 August 2017

  • Activity Type:

    Research

  • Funder:

    Chief Scientists Office

  • Value:

    £1215

Project Team