AIM: To describe clinical characteristics of head and neck cancer (HNC) patients with pain and those wishing to discuss pain concerns during consultation. METHODS: Cross-sectional, questionnaire study using University of Washington Quality of Life, version 4 (UWQOL) and the Patients Concerns Inventory (PCI) in disease-free, post-treatment HNC cohort. Significant pain on UW-QOL and indicating “Pain in head and neck” and “Pain elsewhere” on PCI. RESULTS: One hundred and seventy-seven patients completed UW-QOL and PCI. The prevalence of selfreported pain issues was 38% (67/177) comprising 25% (44/177) with significant problems despite medications and 13% (23/177) with lesser or no problems but wishing to discuss pain. Patients aged under 65 years and patients having treatment involving radiotherapy were more likely to have pain issues. Just over half, 55% (24/44) of patients with significant pain did not express a need to discuss this. Those with significant pain or others wanting to discuss pain in clinic had greater problems in physical and social-emotional functioning, reported suboptimal QOL, and also had more additional PCI items to discuss in clinic compared to those without significant pain and not wishing to discuss pain. CONCLUSION: Significant HNC-related pain is prevalent in the disease-free, posttreatment cohort. Onward referral to a specialist pain team may be beneficial. The UW-QOL and PCI package is a valuable tool that may routinely screen for significant pain in outpatient clinics.
Rogers, S. N., Cleator, A. J., Lowe, D., & Ghazali, N. (2012). Identifying pain-related concerns in routine follow-up clinics following oral and oropharyngeal cancer. World Journal of Clinical Oncology, 3(8), 116-125. https://doi.org/10.5306/wjco.v3.i8.116