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Development and feasibility of a Swallowing intervention Package (SiP) for patients receiving radiotherapy treatment for head and neck cancer—the SiP study protocol

Wells, Mary; King, Emma; Toft, Kate; MacAulay, Fiona; Patterson, Joanne; Dougall, Nadine; Hulbert-Williams, Nick; Boa, Sally; Slaven, Eleanor; Cowie, Julie; McGarva, John; Niblock, Patricia Gail; Philp, Julie; Roe, Justin

Authors

Mary Wells

Emma King

Kate Toft

Fiona MacAulay

Joanne Patterson

Nick Hulbert-Williams

Sally Boa

Eleanor Slaven

Julie Cowie

John McGarva

Patricia Gail Niblock

Julie Philp

Justin Roe



Abstract

Background

Head and neck cancer (HNC) is the sixth most common cancer worldwide, and the functional, psychological and social consequences of HNC cancer and its treatment can be severe and chronic. Dysphagia (swallowing problems) affects up to two thirds of patients undergoing combined chemoradiotherapy. Recent reviews suggest that prophylactic swallowing exercises may improve a range of short- and long-term outcomes; however, the importance of psychological and behavioural factors on adherence to swallowing exercises has not been adequately studied. This study aims to develop and test the feasibility of a Swallowing intervention Package (SiP) designed in partnership with patients, speech and language therapists (SLTs) and other members of the head and neck multi-disciplinary team (MDT), for patients undergoing chemoradiotherapy (CRT) or radiotherapy (RT) for head and neck cancer.

Methods/design

This feasibility study uses quantitative and qualitative research methods, within a quasi-experimental design, to assess whether patients will tolerate and adhere to the SiP intervention, which aspects of the intervention can be implemented and which cannot, whether treatment fidelity can be achieved across different contexts, whether study processes and outcome measures will be feasible and acceptable and to what extent the intervention is likely to have an impact on swallowing dysfunction and quality of life. Patients are being recruited from five sites in Scotland and England (three interventions and two usual care). The SLT based in the relevant intervention centre teaches the exercise programme and provides supporting materials. A combination of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), adherence measures and clinical swallowing assessments are used prior to intervention (baseline), at the end of treatment, 3 and 6 months post-treatment.
Discussion

This collaborative study has taken a unique approach to the development of a patient-centred and evidence-based swallowing intervention. The introduction of an e-SiP app provides an exploration of the use of technology in delivering this intervention. The study provides an opportunity to examine the feasibility of delivering and participating in a supported swallowing intervention across several different NHS sites and will provide the evidence needed to refine intervention and study processes for a future trial.

Citation

Wells, M., King, E., Toft, K., MacAulay, F., Patterson, J., Dougall, N., …Roe, J. (2016). Development and feasibility of a Swallowing intervention Package (SiP) for patients receiving radiotherapy treatment for head and neck cancer—the SiP study protocol. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 2(1), https://doi.org/10.1186/s40814-016-0079-6

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 7, 2016
Online Publication Date Aug 4, 2016
Publication Date 2016-12
Deposit Date Aug 8, 2016
Publicly Available Date Sep 26, 2017
Journal Pilot and Feasibility Studies
Print ISSN 2055-5784
Electronic ISSN 2055-5784
Publisher BMC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 1
DOI https://doi.org/10.1186/s40814-016-0079-6
Keywords Dysphagia, cancer, head and neck intervention, exercise, rehabilitation, study protocol,
Public URL http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/Output/329791

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Publisher Licence URL
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Copyright Statement
© The Author(s). 2016 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.







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