Availability and use of web-based interventions for patients with head and neck cancer - a scoping review

Rosie Kelly, Peter Gordon, Ruth Thompson, Cherith Semple

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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To identify and review the nature, scope and use of web-based interventions for patients with head and neck cancer (HNC).

A scoping review guided by the methodological framework described by the Joanna Briggs Institute was performed to review empirical studies and websites. Seven electronic databases (CINAHL, Medline, Scopus, Embase, Cochrane, PubMed and PsycInfo) were searched from 2010 to 2020, data extracted and synthesised using thematic analysis. The Google search engine was employed, identifying the first 100 websites, using the search term head and neck cancer. Websites meeting eligibility criteria were assessed using the QUEST analysis tool, and descriptively summarised.

Thirteen empirical studies and 32 websites were included. As identified by empirical studies, web-based interventions were developed to provide (1) patient information on HNC and related treatments, (2) advice and support during treatment and (3) management strategies promoting adjustment to life with and beyond HNC. The reviewed websites provided minimal information to aid shared decision-making and facilitate preparedness for treatment, with few utilising patient narratives. Web-based interventions for HNC patients were mainly text based and focused on survivorship.

There is a paucity of theory-based, co-designed web-based interventions using patient narratives.

Implications for Cancer Survivors
As patients increasingly look to the internet for advice and support, healthcare professionals are in a position to provide high-quality web-based interventions. There is an opportunity to rigorously develop a web-based intervention, containing narratives of peoples’ lives before and after HNC treatment, aiding decision-making, preparedness for treatment and self-management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
Early online date28 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 28 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by HSC R&D Division NI, Macmillan Cancer Support and South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Crown.


  • Patient preferences
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Online resources
  • Web-based interventions
  • Shared decision-making
  • Scoping Review


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