Patterson JM, Toft K, McAuley F, King E, McLachlan K, Roe JWG & Wells M (2019) Feasibility and outcomes of Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing following prophylactic swallowing rehabilitation in head and neck cancer. Clinical Otolaryngology, 44 (4), pp. 549-556. https://doi.org/10.1111/coa.13331
Investigate the feasibility and outcomes of fibreoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) following a programme of prophylactic swallowing exercises in head and neck cancer (HNC) patients treated with radiotherapy.
Prospective, single cohort, feasibility study.
Three head and neck cancer centres in Scotland.
Pre‐radiotherapy HNC patients who consented to participate in a prophylactic swallowing intervention.
FEES recruitment and retention rates, assessment acceptability and compliance, qualitative process evaluation.
Higher rates of recruitment and retention were achieved in centres where FEES equipment was available on site. Travel and anticipated discomfort were barriers to recruitment. Data completion was high for all rating scales, with goo d reliability. Following radiotherapy, swallowing safety significantly deteriorated for liquid boluses (p=0.005‐0.03); pharyngeal residue increased for liquid and semi‐solid boluses. Pharyngo‐laryngeal oedema was present pre‐treatment and significantly increased post‐radiotherapy (p=0.001). Patients generally reported positive experience of FEES for their own learning and establishing a baseline.
FEES is an acceptable method of assessing patients for a prophylactic swallowing intervention and offers some additional information missing from VF. Barriers have been identified and should be taken into account in order to maximise recruitment for future trials.
Head and neck cancer; radiotherapy; dysphagia; rehabilitation; intervention; Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing; feasibility
Clinical Otolaryngology: Volume 44, Issue 4