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The Patient Concerns Inventory is a holistic, self-reported screening tool for detecting unmet needs in head and neck cancer patients. This study aimed to assess its value in screening for self-perceived swallowing and speech concerns, and in facilitating multidisciplinary supportive care.
The Patient Concerns Inventory and the University of Washington Quality of Life questionnaire were completed by 204 post-treatment patients attending routine out-patient review clinics, and those with speech or swallowing issues were identified.
Swallowing and speech issues were respectively reported by 21 and 7 per cent of University of Washington questionnaire respondents and by 17 and 13 per cent of Patient Concerns Inventory respondents. The two surveys combined indicated that speech or swallowing issues arose in 39 per cent of consultations (n = 178), involving 48 per cent of patients (n = 97). Of these 97 patients, 74 were known to the speech and language therapist. The remaining 23 patients had their concerns discussed in the clinic; three were referred on, and were assessed by the speech and language therapist and given appropriate interventions.
The use of both surveys concurrently enabled all patients with swallowing or speech issues to discuss these concerns in the clinic and to access appropriate multidisciplinary interventions.
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