Supportive Care in Head and Neck Cancer Patients: The Role of Occupational Therapist. Review

Authors

  • Edna Lúcia Coutinho da Silva
  • Meire Coelho Ferreira
  • Camila de Carvalho Almança Lopes
  • Rafael Resende de Miranda
  • Veridiana Resende Novais Simamoto

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.37506/ijpot.v16i2.18046

Keywords:

: Adverse effects, Dentistry, Head and neck cancer, Occupational therapy, Radiotherapy

Abstract

Background: Patients diagnosed with malignant head and neck cancer undergoing radiotherapy have
negative impacts on oral health and, consequently, on quality of life, especially in older patients who
already have peculiar age changes and altered physiological conditions. Radiotherapy in the head and
neck region can cause some side effects, such as hyposalivation, xerostomia, mucositis, dysgeusia,
dysphagia, trismus, candidiasis, osteoradionecrosis and radiation-related caries. Thus, a multidisciplinary
approach is needed to increase the chances of successful treatment of side effects. This review focused
on the role of the occupational therapist in the care of patients with head and neck cancer.
Methods: A literature search was carried out in the MEDLINE database from the year 2010 to 2021.
Conclusion: The multidisciplinary approach provides improvements in oral functions, directly affecting
the quality of life and survival of cancer patients. Therefore, it is extremely important to aggregate
occupational therapy actions in multidisciplinary care involving other professionals, such as dentists in
order to promote an adequate treatment for this category of patients.

Author Biographies

Edna Lúcia Coutinho da Silva

PhD Student, School of Dentistry, CEUMA University, São Luís, MA, Brazil

Meire Coelho Ferreira

Professor, School of Dentistry, CEUMA University, São Luís, MA, Brazil

Camila de Carvalho Almança Lopes

PhD, Dental School, University of Uberlândia, Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Rafael Resende de Miranda

Professor, Department of Operative Dentistry and Dental Materials, Dental School, Federal University of Uberlandia, Uberlandia, MG, Brazil

Veridiana Resende Novais Simamoto

Professor, Department of Operative Dentistry and Dental Materials, Dental School, Federal University of Uberlandia, Uberlandia, MG, Brazil

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Published

2022-04-13