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The development of an ICF-based clinical guideline and screening tool for the standardized assessment and evaluation of functioning after head and neck cancer treatment

Ulrich Kisser, Christine Adderson-Kisser, Michaela Coenen, Marita Stier-Jarmer, Sven Becker, Carla Sabariego, Ulrich Harréus
European Archives of Oto-rhino-laryngology 2017, 274 (2): 1035-1043
27695934
The assessment and evaluation of functioning and quality of life after tumor treatment in head and neck cancer (HNC) are considered as essential aspects of clinical routine and studies. A huge number of instruments are available that have been designed to evaluate functioning and quality of life after HNC treatment. The diversity of these instruments in terms of content, response options and administration hinders the comparability of available studies and the performance of meta-analyses. The objective of this paper is to inform about the development of a screening tool for the standardized assessment and evaluation of functioning based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) Core Set for HNC. We followed a multi-step approach including (1) preparatory studies to identify and preselect suitable instruments for the assessment of functioning, (2) a decision-making process to agree on an ICF-based clinical guideline including instruments assessing functioning and (3) the development of a computer-based standardized screening tool to assess and evaluate functioning based on this guideline in clinical routine. Twenty-one experts participated in a consensus meeting and decided on instruments to be included in an ICF-based clinical guideline and screening tool for the assessment and evaluation of functioning in HNC patients in cancer treatment. The chosen instruments cover all aspects of the ICF Core Set for HNC addressing therapy control, pain, food intake/swallowing, voice/speech/breathing, other somatic complaints and psychosocial aspects. The screening tool contains patient-reported outcome measures and a clinician's checklist. It has to be further tested in clinical practice.

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