Longitudinal evaluation of the oral mucositis weekly questionnaire-head and neck cancer, a patient-reported outcomes questionnaire.
BACKGROUND: Quality-of-life instruments that measure specific functional consequences of mucositis are needed to assess the efficacy of therapeutic interventions targeted against mucositis and to guide patient care. The authors undertook a prospective, multicenter, observational study to assess the validity, reliability, and feasibility of a new instrument, the Oral Mucositis Weekly Questionnaire-Head and Neck Cancer (OMWQ-HN). The OMWQ-HN is a patient-reported outcome questionnaire that measures the symptoms of mucositis, including mouth and throat soreness (MTS), and their impact on patient well-being and function. METHODS: The OMWQ-HN, along with the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Head and Neck (FACT-HN), was administered 5 times over an approximately 6-week period to patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) who were receiving radiation therapy with or without chemotherapy. Information on supportive care measures also was collected. RESULTS: Seventy-five patients were enrolled and completed 93% of scheduled assessments (100% at baseline). The OMWQ-HN demonstrated good test-retest reliability (correlation coefficient, 0.80-0.89). Cross-sectional analyses to assess validity showed that OMWQ-HN scores were different across levels of pain, with those in the worst pain category reporting the highest OMWQ-HN scores. Strong correlations were observed between OMWQ-HN and FACT-HN. Patients experienced increases in MTS, which corresponded with a steady decline in function. MTS scores were highest in the patients who were taking opioid analgesics, suggesting that mucositis pain continued despite standard pain therapy. CONCLUSIONS: The current results indicated that the OMWQ-HN is a valid, reliable, and feasible instrument for assessing the impact of mucositis on patients who are receiving radiation therapy with or without chemotherapy for HNC.
Epstein, JB; Beaumont, JL; Gwede, CK; Murphy, B; Garden, AS; Meredith, R; Le, Q-T; Brizel, D; Isitt, J; Cella, D
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