BACKGROUND - The prevalence, severity, and functional implications of adverse oral health outcomes attributed to head and neck cancer therapy are largely undefined. We report development of an oral health outcome subscale for the Vanderbilt Head and Neck Symptom Survey (VHNSS).
METHODS - Oral health outcome questions were formulated through literature review and consultation with an expert panel. Questions were incorporated into the VHNSS resulting in a 50-item survey, scored 0 (none) to 10 (severe). The tool was administered to 70 subjects who completed radiation to assess for feasibility.
RESULTS - Patient acceptance was high with a completion time <10 minutes. A full range of scores was noted for 46 of 50 questions. Oral health symptom burden was high early and late posttreatment.
CONCLUSIONS - The VHNSS version 2.0 was feasible and could be completed in a timely manner. Validation studies are ongoing. The high prevalence of adverse oral health outcomes warrants further study.
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