Development of a Patient-Centered Functional Outcomes Questionnaire in Head and Neck Cancer

Adrian Mendez, Hadi Seikaly, Dean Eurich, Agnieszka Dzioba, Daniel Aalto, Martin Osswald, Jeffrey R. Harris, Daniel A. O'Connell, Cathy Lazarus, Mark Urken, Ilya Likhterov, Raymond L. Chai, Erika Rauscher, Daniel Buchbinder, Devin Okay, Risto Pekka Happonen, Ilpo Kinnunen, Heikki Irjala, Tero Soukka, Juhani Laine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Importance: Incorporation of patient perspectives, or patient-reported outcomes, in functional outcome measures has been gaining prominence in the literature on reconstructive surgery. Objective: To create and validate an instrument for measuring the main functional areas of concern for patients with head and neck cancer. Design, Setting, and Participants: This 4-phase mixed-methods qualitative study was conducted from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2016, in a quaternary head and neck oncology center in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Patients were recruited from 3 Head and Neck Research Network sites: University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada), Mount Sinai Health Network (New York, New York), and University of Turku Hospital (Turku, Finland). The inclusion criteria included 18 years of age or older, diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma involving the subsites of the head and neck (ie, oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx, and larynx), and at least 1 year since treatment completion. Those patients who were undergoing additional active treatment or with evidence of disease recurrence were excluded. Data were analyzed from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2016. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome measures were the clinical correlation of the Edmonton-33 instrument scores with swallowing, speech, dry mouth, and chewing assessment outcomes. Results: In total, 10 patients with head and neck cancer (mean age, 59.6 years; 6 men [60%]) were included in phase 1 of the study, 5 patients (mean age, 55.2 years) were included in phase 2, 10 patients were included in phase 3, and 25 patients with head and neck cancer (mean age, 62.6 years; 14 men [56%]) participated in the phase 4 validation. The Edmonton-33 instrument scores correlated strongly with the swallowing scores of the MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory (r = 0.77; 95% CI, 0.49-1.0), the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Head and Neck 35 (EORTC QLQ-H&N35) (r =-0.73; 95% CI,-1.0 to-0.44), and the modified barium swallow test (r =-0.60; 95% CI,-0.94 to-0.25). The instrument scores were also strongly correlated with the Speech Handicap Index scores (r =-0.64; 95% CI,-0.97 to-0.31), word intelligibility scores (r = 0.61; 95% CI, 0.27-0.95), and sentence intelligibility scores (r = 0.55; 95% CI, 0.19-0.91). A moderate to strong correlation was observed between the Edmonton-33 instrument and the EORTC QLQ-H&N35 scores in the dry mouth (r =-0.54; 95% CI,-0.91 to-0.18) and chewing (r =-0.45; 95% CI,-0.84 to-0.06) domains. The factor loading values for the domains of swallowing, speech, dry mouth, and chewing were all greater than 0.3. The mean factor loading values for the items related to swallowing were 0.71 (95% CI, 0.62-0.80) and for the items related to speech were 0.76 (95% CI, 0.72-0.80). The mean factor loading values for the items related to dry mouth were 0.71 (95% CI, 0.59-0.83) and for those related to chewing were 0.77 (95% CI, 0.69-0.85). Conclusions and Relevance: The Edmonton-33 appears to be a validated instrument that will allow patients with head and neck cancer to assess and report their own functional outcomes. It could serve as a single comprehensive measure for functional outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-443
Number of pages7
JournalJAMA Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Volume146
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2020
Externally publishedYes

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