We have earlier reported establishing a computerized database to audit functional outcomes in patients who underwent head and neck cancer treatment in Victoria, Australiaand attended speech pathology services from April 1997–April 1999. This paper presents the statistical analyses and results from this study.
Speech pathologists collected, prospectively, functional outcome data on 293 patients who underwent head and neck cancer treatment, and sent these for analysis to La Trobe University. Clinician and patient assessments of outcomes: speech, swallowing, activity, pain, employment, health, QOL status were made.
Initial data on 293 patients were collected and data on mortality and morbidity were compiled at three, six and 12 months post-treatment. Within twelve months, 74 patients had died. Three, six and/or 12-month follow-up data was available on 219 patients, with both clinician and patient assessments of status completed. The status forms are presented as appendices to this paper. Complete status forms on 179 patients at 12 months were obtained.
This clinical audit of functional outcomes represents the first study of this kind, collecting data from speech pathologists and patients in a multi-centre study of patients with head and neck cancer. We present data to demonstrate optimal recovery of function at six months, such that this may represent a good reference point for reporting and comparison of functional outcomes.