Authors: Wang JR, Nurgalieva Z, Fu S, Tam S, Zhao H, Giordano SH, Hutcheson KA, Lewis CM
Title: Utilization of rehabilitation services in patients with head and neck cancer in the United States: A SEER-Medicare analysis.
Journal: Head Neck 41(9):3299-3308
Date: 2019 Sep
PubMed ID: 31240808
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Head and neck cancer (HNC) and its treatment lead to functional impairments. Rehabilitation by speech-language pathology (SLP) and occupational/physical therapy (OT/PT) can decrease morbidity. METHODS: The Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results-Medicare data for patients with HNC diagnosed between 2002 and 2011 was utilized to evaluate posttreatment rehabilitation. RESULTS: In 16 194 patients, the overall utilization rate was 20.7% for SLP and 26.2% for OT/PT services. Treatment modality was significantly associated rehabilitation utilization. Compared to patients treated with primary surgery, those treated with primary radiotherapy had significantly lower odds of OT/PT utilization. Patients treated with surgery plus adjuvant treatment and primary concurrent chemoradiation had higher odds of SLP utilization compared to patients treated with surgery alone. CONCLUSIONS: Rehabilitation services appeared to be underutilized by patients with HNC in the United States and vary with treatment modality. There is a need to improve integration of rehabilitation services into the HNC care continuum. SUMMARY: Rehabilitation services are underutilized by patients with HNC during posttreatment surveillance in the United States. Treatment modality significantly impacts rehabilitation utilization patterns.