The authors have no financial disclosures for this article.
Head and Neck
Version of Record online: 8 AUG 2011
Copyright © 2011 The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc.
Volume 121, Issue 10, pages 2131–2135, October 2011
How to Cite
Starmer, H., Sanguineti, G., Marur, S. and Gourin, C. G. (2011), Multidisciplinary head and neck cancer clinic and adherence with speech pathology. The Laryngoscope, 121: 2131–2135. doi: 10.1002/lary.21746
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
- Issue online: 21 SEP 2011
- Version of Record online: 8 AUG 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 JAN 2011
- Manuscript Received: 2 DEC 2010
- Multidisciplinary care;
- head and neck cancer;
- patient compliance;
- Level of Evidence: 4.
To determine the effect of referral patterns on compliance with speech–language pathology (SLP) treatment of voice and swallowing difficulties in patients with head and neck cancer (HNCA).
Retrospective cohort study.
Patients with newly diagnosed oropharyngeal HNCA referred for pretreatment SLP evaluation comprised the study population. Compliance was measured by participation in SLP therapy during and after head and neck treatment, as well as by the number of missed and completed visits. Outcomes were compared between patients who were initially evaluated through the multidisciplinary clinic and those evaluated outside of the multidisciplinary clinic format.
The final study sample included 118 individuals with oropharyngeal tumors. All patients were treated with primary radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy. Patients evaluated initially through the multidisciplinary clinic had more SLP visits than those who did not participate in the multidisciplinary clinic (mean = 1.8 vs. 0.2, P <.0001). Participation in SLP treatment was significantly greater for patients ≥60 years of age (odds ratio [OR] = 2.4, P =.032) and for patients who participated in the multidisciplinary clinic (OR = 19.3, P <.0001). Tumor stage, sex, race, marital status, and insurance status were not associated with patient compliance. Multivariate analysis revealed that participation in a multidisciplinary clinic was the only significant variable associated with SLP treatment compliance (OR = 12.9, P <.0001), after controlling for all other variables.
Patients evaluated in a multidisciplinary clinic are more likely to comply with SLP treatment recommendations.