Patient-reported outcome during radiotherapy for head and neck cancer: the use of different PRO questionnaires

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Head and neck cancer (HNC) patients are typically treated with radiotherapy (RT), which might lead to side effects and deterioration of quality of life (QoL). Studies in other cancers indicate that systematic use of patient-reported outcome (PRO) can be a tool to increase awareness of patients’ symptoms and improve QoL. Multiple PRO questionnaires have been developed and validated for HNC, complicating the interpretation of results from scientific studies. In this exploratory study, symptom scores from four essential symptoms present in four different HNC-specific PRO questionnaires were evaluated. Methods: Four HNC-specific PRO questionnaires (EORTC QLQ-H&N35, FACT-H&N, MDASI-HN, and PRO-CTCAE) for patients undergoing radiotherapy were completed by eligible HNC patients up to ten times during and after RT. Four essential symptoms (pain, dysphagia, hoarseness, and dry mouth) were present in all questionnaires. The symptom scores for these symptoms were aligned and evaluated. Results: Twelve patients were included and completed a total of 328 PRO questionnaires out of 420. Similarity between symptom score for the four symptoms was found, when the symptom scores were aligned. The symptom scores increased during RT and decreased afterwards for all four symptoms and in all four questionnaires. Conclusion: Four HNC-specific PRO questionnaires are found similar in reflecting symptom scores over time concerning four important HNC symptoms (pain, dysphagia, hoarseness, and dry mouth). PRO can contribute with targetable information about symptoms, and PRO questionnaires might be a valuable add on to clinical practice enabling a varied picture of patients’ symptoms during radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)4199-4206
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Head and neck cancer
  • Patient-reported outcomes
  • Quality of life
  • Radiotherapy
  • Side effects


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