Factors associated with swallowing dysfunction in patients with head and neck cancer

Jorine A. Vermaire, Cornelis P. J. Raaijmakers, Evelyn M. Monninkhof, Irma M. Verdonck-de Leeuw, Chris H. J. Terhaard, Caroline M. Speksnijder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The aim of this prospective cohort study was to investigate swallowing function in relation to personal and clinical factors among patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) from diagnosis up to 2 years after treatment. Methods: The 100 ml water swallow test was measured before treatment, and 3, 6, 12, and 24 months after treatment. Linear mixed-effects model analysis was conducted to investigate changes over time and the association with personal (sex and age) and clinical (tumor site, tumor stage, and treatment modality) factors. Results: Among 128 included patients, number of swallows increased from baseline to 3 months after treatment and decreased to baseline again at 6 months after treatment. The number of swallows was associated with age and treatment modality. Conclusions: In patients with HNC, swallowing (dys)function changes over time with the worst score 3 months after treatment. A higher age and being treated with surgery are factors associated with swallowing dysfunction over time.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOral Diseases
Early online date2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022

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