A national survey of healthcare professionals’ views on models of follow-up, holistic needs assessment and survivorship care for patients with head and neck cancer

Mary Wells, Cherith Semple, Christine Lane

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Patterns of follow-up and survivorship care are changing in response to growing numbers of cancer survivors
and an increasing recognition that traditional models are unsustainable and result in unmet needs. Clinicians
have shown reluctance in changing conventional follow-up practices for patients with head and neck cancer.
This study aimed to explore nurses’ and allied health professionals’ views and practices in relation to
follow-up, holistic needs assessment and survivorship care in this patient group. An online survey of members of the British Association of Head and Neck Oncology Nurses was undertaken. The response rate was 43% (74 of 174). Findings revealed a range of existing models of follow-up, rehabilitation and support for people with head and neck cancer across the UK. Specialist staff were open to new models of care and to more responsibility, with adequate training and supervision. There were some gaps in the provision of comprehensive survivorship care and some specific areas of practice in which nurses lacked confidence, knowledge and skills, such as managing medications and complex symptoms. Further research is needed to develop and evaluate effective models of follow-up and support for a growing population of head and neck cancer survivors who have diverse and complex needs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873
Number of pages883
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Publication statusPublished - 2015



  • head and neck cancer
  • follow up
  • holistic needs assessment
  • survivorship

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