Evaluating the effects of lymphoedema management strategies on functional status and health-related quality of life following treatment for head and neck cancer: a systematic review

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Abstract

Patients living with head and neck lymphoedema (HNL) after completion of head and neck cancer (HNC) often can experience long-term functional challenges and overall poorer health-related quality of life (HRQOL). This systematic review aims to explore components of effective HNL interventions through identification and synthesising literature on existing HNL management interventions. Five electronic databases (MEDLINE via Ovid and PubMed, CINAHL, CENTRAL, and Scopus) were systematically searched using Medical Subject Headings and free text, as well as citation tracking and Google Scholar for grey literature. A total of 1910 studies were screened, with 12 studies meeting the inclusion criteria. Findings indicated vast heterogeneity within HNL interventions. Patients' adherence to intervention strategies was reported as low and partially adhered to, particularly at home. This impacted on function domains and overall HRQOL during the post-treatment HNC phase, as well as further increasing the demands placed on healthcare professionals. Synthesis of the research findings highlighted a need to provide and educate patients with individualised HNL self-management intervention strategies. Promoting adherence was reported as being essential, with self-efficacy and behaviour change techniques being emphasised as a critical element to enhance motivation and therefore effective intervention delivery. Further work is important to address barriers to adherence and promote both motivation and behaviour change, to develop individualised self-management interventions for this cancer population. The findings from this systematic review will provide guidance in the development and delivery of individualised self-management HNL interventions for patients who have completed HNC treatment. [Abstract copyright: © 2023. The Author(s).]
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
Early online date30 Aug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 30 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Adherence
  • Cancer survivorship
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Self-management
  • Systematic review
  • Head and neck lymphoedema

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