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Table 1 Nurse-delivered interventions

From: Interventions to improve quality of life (QOL) and/or mood in patients with head and neck cancer (HNC): a review of the evidence

Study Settings/Patients Study Design/Intervention Timing of intervention Assessment timepoints Measures Results Methodological Qualitya
Katz et al. (2004) [16] 19 HNC pts. (10 experimental, 9 control); Canada RCT. Intervention group received 2 sessions with research nurse (60-90 min each) with educational booklet covering info on diagnosis and surgery, what to expect physically post-surgery, effective coping strategies. Newly diagnosed oral cavity cancer pre-treatment; sessions were pre-operatively then pre-discharge from hospital baseline, pre-hospital discharge, 3 months Knowledge, State-trait anxiety inventory (STAI), CES-D, affect balance scale, Atkinson Life Happiness rating scale, illness intrusiveness ratings scale, EORTC QLQ-30; satisfaction with intervention survey Experimental group showed gain in knowledge, less body image disturbance, lower anxiety 5
Duffy et al. (2006) [17] 184 HNC pts. randomized; pts. had at least one of the following: smoking, alcohol use, or depression; Michigan RCT. Intervention group received sessions with a nurse consisting of cognitive behavioral therapy with workbook and phone calls plus medications as needed for smoking cessation or depression. Any time after diagnosis (0 to 282 months; mean 24 months from diagnosis) baseline and 6 months Alcohol use: Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test; Depression: Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form Significant differences in 6 month smoking cessation rates. No significant difference in 6 month depression/alcohol use. 7
Semple et al. (2009) [18] 54 HNC pts., meeting cutoffs for psychosocial dysfunction (hospital depression scale, work and social adjustment scale-WASA); Ireland Non-randomized, controlled trial. Intervention group was self-selected and received one-on-one home visits with clinical nurse specialist for an individualized, problem-focused program with bibliotherapy as adjunct. Controls were those who self-selected not to participate. Post-treatment (no time frame given, no details of treatment), 2–6 home sessions (avg 4), up to 90 min each with 2 weeks between sessions baseline, 1 week post intervention, 3 months Psychological dysfunction: HADS; WASA and QOL: HRQOL by UWQOL v. 4; Work and Social Adjustment Scale Significant improvement in psychological distress, social functioning and some QOL scores, sustained in 3 month follow up period 6
van der Meulen et al. (2014) [19] 205 HNC pts. HNC cancer RCT. Intervention group received 6 bimonthly, problem focused counseling sessions (45 min each) with a nurse addressing physical, psychological, and social consequences of HNC. Enrolled before treatment started but sessions started after treatment ended baseline, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after treatment completion Depression: CES-D; QOL: EORTC QLQ Depression levels were significantly lower in the intervention group at 1 year and physical symptoms also decreased in the intervention group compared to control 6
  1. aCriteria for assessing the methodological and statistical quality of the studies were adapted from Longacre et al., where one point was given for each criteria met of the following categories: (A) Sample characteristics, (B) Sample size, (C) Data collection, (D) Response rates, (E) Outcome measurement, (F) Comparison groups, and (G) Statistical analyses. A total of 7 points was possible such that higher points were higher quality studies