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OBJECTIVE - We describe development and preliminary testing of Vanderbilt Head and Neck Symptom Survey-Recurrent/Metastatic (VHNSS-RM) to assess residual symptoms, tumor-related symptoms, and side effects from therapy.
METHODS - Items were identified through patient and provider interviews. Card sort selected high-yield and high-impact items. The VHNSS-RM was administered to 50 patients with recurrent/metastatic head and neck cancer (RMHNC).
RESULTS - The VHNSS-RM includes 12 unique symptoms (diet change, tongue movement affecting speech/swallowing, face/neck swelling, neck/jaw cramping, bad breath, drooling, wound drainage/pain/odor, nasal congestion/drainage, eyes watering, face/tongue/ear/scalp numbness, headaches, and confusion) and 7 unique psychosocial issues (burden to family/friends, lost independence, fear, embarrassment, mood swings, stress, and boredom).
CONCLUSIONS - The VHNSS-RM contains 35 physical and 12 psychosocial issues. The VHNSS-RM is feasible and not overly burdensome. Nineteen unique items may improve palliation to patients with RMHNC.
© The Author(s) 2015.