Introduction and Rationale
Head and neck cancer (HNC) represents 4% of newly diagnosed cancers. While survival is improving, treatment remains grueling and disabling. Physical therapy education is not part of HNC care standards. This study will help fill this gap by revising pre-existing physical therapy centered educational materials – “Moving On” informed through the perspectives of HNC survivors, their family members, and HNC medical specialists.
We revised the “Moving On” education materials with a literature review. We will next use the Delphi technique to conduct focus groups with panels of survivors, caregivers, and medical specialists. We will analyze focus group transcripts to identify relevant educational content. Participants will complete surveys regarding satisfaction with the revised materials. We expect that our groups will (1) identify information relevant to HNC rehabilitation, and (2) guide the formatting and presentation of the revised education materials for a final version at the end of the project. Each revision will be used for the subsequent focus group.
Strengths and Limitations
This study will provide evidence-based education materials that are patient-centered and focused on physical therapy needs of the HNC survivor. The data will reveal new directions for future research. Our small, convenience sample, and lack of generalization to the population are our main limitations.
Effective patient education for HNC survivors is crucial to recovery after treatment. The materials have potential to improve quality of life and empower patients to control recovery from HNC.