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Support Care Cancer. 2017 Aug;25(8):2611-2618. doi: 10.1007/s00520-017-3674-z. Epub 2017 Mar 28.

A feasibility and efficacy trial of a hand-held humidification device in patients undergoing radiotherapy for head and neck cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California San Francisco, 1600 Divisadero Street, Suite H-1031, San Francisco, CA, 94143-1708, USA.
2
Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences & Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
3
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
4
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California San Francisco, 1600 Divisadero Street, Suite H-1031, San Francisco, CA, 94143-1708, USA. yoms@radonc.ucsf.edu.
5
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA. yoms@radonc.ucsf.edu.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study aimed to evaluate the effects of warm-mist humidification during and after head and neck radiation therapy (HN RT) on quality of life (QOL), as measured by the M. D. Anderson Symptom Inventory-Head and Neck (MDASI-HN) HN score. A secondary aim was to compare QOL among compliers (≥60% of protocol-recommended usage) versus non-compliers.

METHODS:

Twenty patients self-administered a hand-held, self-sterilizing humidification device for a recommended time of at least 15 min twice daily for 12 weeks. Patients completed the MDASI-HN instrument at RT start, after 6 weeks, and after 12 weeks. Compliance was reported weekly.

RESULTS:

The average HN score at baseline was 1.7 (SD = 1.8) and increased to 6.0 (SD = 1.6) after 6 weeks; this increase was much higher than anticipated and the primary endpoint could not be reached. However, compliers had an average of nearly two less HN symptoms (-1.8, 95% CI -4 to 0.2; p = 0.08) than non-compliers at 6 weeks and fewer symptoms at 12 weeks as well (-0.9, 95% CI -2.9 to 1.2; p = 0.39). The most common terms patients used to describe humidification were "helpful" and "soothing."

CONCLUSIONS:

Compliance with humidification during RT was associated with fewer reported HN symptoms and a strong trend to better QOL. Improvements were seen from compliance with occasional required use of a portable, inexpensive device. Our findings support continued efforts to reduce barriers to humidification, as an intervention that should be considered for standard HN RT clinical practice.

KEYWORDS:

Head and neck radiation therapy; Humidification; Quality of life

PMID:
28353039
DOI:
10.1007/s00520-017-3674-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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