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The experiences of people who receive swallow therapy following surgical treatment of head and neck cancer

The experiences of people who receive swallow therapy following surgical treatment of head and neck cancer
The experiences of people who receive swallow therapy following surgical treatment of head and neck cancer
Background
Head and neck cancer and its treatment may impact on the way a person eats drinks and speaks. These problems affect many aspects of life from practical issues such as how to swallow without choking, to challenging how an individual socialises or feels emotionally. Swallow therapy is provided by Speech and Language Therapists (SLT) to reduce the health risks associated with poor swallow function, such as pneumonia, and to improve wellbeing. A link has been identified in the literature between poor swallow function and compromised quality of life. However, there is limited information around how a swallow therapy intervention may optimally be delivered to reduce the holistic impact of swallow dysfunction. This research was initiated to explore the experiences of people who underwent swallow therapy after surgical treatment for head and neck cancer, to identify what people require from a swallow therapy intervention and to consider how it may optimally be delivered.

Method
The study used interpretive phenomenology to determine which elements of swallow therapy are beneficial and what may improve the individual’s experience of receiving therapy. An interview schedule was developed with a person who had undergone head and neck cancer surgery, and piloted before use. Following this process convenience sampling was used to identify and recruit fifteen participants to undertake one to one, face to face, in depth interviews. The researcher collected and transcribed the data, then coded and categorised it into themes.

Results
Two overarching themes were identified, ‘I never dreamt’ and ‘They look at you and they speak to you’. The first theme describes the complex reality of undergoing head and neck cancer surgery, and the enormity of the symptoms and changes people experience. The second theme covers the interactions and relationships with health care professionals following surgery.
The study makes suggestions about how people can best be prepared for what is to happen to them after surgery, how clinicians may help them adjust to their physical alterations and how to support them in
University of Southampton
Dawson, Camilla
f24fcf2a-a7f8-4e04-bd85-bc6852de9e43
Dawson, Camilla
f24fcf2a-a7f8-4e04-bd85-bc6852de9e43
Fenlon, Deborah
52f9a9f1-1643-449c-9856-258ef563342c
Adams, Joanna
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Dawson, Camilla (2017) The experiences of people who receive swallow therapy following surgical treatment of head and neck cancer. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 148pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Background
Head and neck cancer and its treatment may impact on the way a person eats drinks and speaks. These problems affect many aspects of life from practical issues such as how to swallow without choking, to challenging how an individual socialises or feels emotionally. Swallow therapy is provided by Speech and Language Therapists (SLT) to reduce the health risks associated with poor swallow function, such as pneumonia, and to improve wellbeing. A link has been identified in the literature between poor swallow function and compromised quality of life. However, there is limited information around how a swallow therapy intervention may optimally be delivered to reduce the holistic impact of swallow dysfunction. This research was initiated to explore the experiences of people who underwent swallow therapy after surgical treatment for head and neck cancer, to identify what people require from a swallow therapy intervention and to consider how it may optimally be delivered.

Method
The study used interpretive phenomenology to determine which elements of swallow therapy are beneficial and what may improve the individual’s experience of receiving therapy. An interview schedule was developed with a person who had undergone head and neck cancer surgery, and piloted before use. Following this process convenience sampling was used to identify and recruit fifteen participants to undertake one to one, face to face, in depth interviews. The researcher collected and transcribed the data, then coded and categorised it into themes.

Results
Two overarching themes were identified, ‘I never dreamt’ and ‘They look at you and they speak to you’. The first theme describes the complex reality of undergoing head and neck cancer surgery, and the enormity of the symptoms and changes people experience. The second theme covers the interactions and relationships with health care professionals following surgery.
The study makes suggestions about how people can best be prepared for what is to happen to them after surgery, how clinicians may help them adjust to their physical alterations and how to support them in

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More information

Published date: 1 June 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 441854
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/441854
PURE UUID: ef3fdfb8-d537-4fef-b0c2-0a721210ef40
ORCID for Joanna Adams: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1765-7060

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Jun 2020 16:31
Last modified: 01 Jul 2020 00:25

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