Eating experiences of head and neck cancer (HNC) patients after radiotherapy-qualitative meta-synthesis

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Background: Head and Neck Cancer (HNC) patients’ often experience problems related to eating of various severities. Damages to the salivary gland, changes in salivary consistency and pain have greater influence on eating behaviour and psychosocial life. Method: The purpose of this study was to conduct a qualitative meta-synthesis on eating experiences of HNC patients followed by radiation therapy. A comprehensive literature search of qualitative studies was done between March and May 2015, using the MeSH words, key words and Boolean operators from three online data bases such as PubMed, Ovid Medline and CINAHL for the articles published between 2010 and 2015. A summative approach of qualitative content analysis was adopted for summarizing the findings. Results: Total of 878 articles was identified. Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) qualitative checklist was used to for critical appraisal of individual studies. Data was extracted from four research articles which were relevant for the review question. Experience of eating was described as difficult and painful. Longer time was taken to eat due to longer chewing, changes in the consistency of saliva and difficulty in opening the mouth. Because of the changes in the behaviour of eating HNC patients isolate themselves. A theme-“Disquieting eating experience” evolved from the present review. Conclusion: Patients with HNC experience many problems related to eating. Early identification and rehabilitation of such patients is essential to improve the Quality of Life (QOL).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-56
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Public Health Research and Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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