PURPOSE: To investigate the long-term follow-up (5 years) of implementing patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) in clinical practice to monitor health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in head and neck cancer (HNC) patients.
METHODS: A mixed method design was used. The usage rate of OncoQuest (a touch screen computer system to monitor HRQOL) and the subsequent nurse consultation was calculated among HNC patients who visited the outpatient clinic for regular follow-up, as well as differences between ever users and never users (sociodemographic and clinical characteristics). The content of the nurse consultation was investigated. Reasons for not using (barriers) or using (facilitators) OncoQuest and the nurse consultation were explored from the perspective of HNC patients, and of head and neck surgeons.
RESULTS: Usage rate of OncoQuest was 67% and of the nurse consultation 79%. Usage of OncoQuest was significantly related to tumor subsite and tumor stage. Topics most frequently (>40%) discussed during the nurse consultation were global quality of life (97%), head and neck cancer related symptoms (82%), other physical symptoms such as pain (61%), and psychological problems such as anxiety (44%). Several barriers and facilitators to implement PROMs in clinical practice were reported by both patients and head and neck surgeons.
CONCLUSION: Usage of PROMs in clinical practice and a nurse consultation is durable, even 5 years after the introduction. This study contributes to better insight into long-term follow-up of implementation, thereby guiding future research and projects that aim to implement PROMs in clinical practice to monitor HRQOL among (head and neck) cancer patients.
- Head and neck cancer
- Health-related quality of life
- Journal Article
- Patient-reported outcome measures
- Screening for psychological distress