Patients' preferences concerning follow-up after curative head and neck cancer treatment: A cross-sectional pilot study.

Mueller, Simon Andreas; Riggauer, Julia; Eliçin, Olgun; Blaser, Daniela; Trelle, Sven; Giger, Roland (2019). Patients' preferences concerning follow-up after curative head and neck cancer treatment: A cross-sectional pilot study. Head & neck - journal for the sciences and specialties of the head and neck, 41(7), pp. 2174-2181. J. Wiley 10.1002/hed.25686

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BACKGROUND Evidence of the oncological benefit of scheduled follow-up in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is weak; symptom-oriented self-referral may be an alternative. Patients' preferences regarding follow-up remain poorly investigated. METHODS We conducted a cross-sectional survey among patients undergoing follow-up at a tertiary outpatient clinic, focusing on their preferences, correlating factors, fear of recurrence, and willingness for participation in a randomized trial on follow-up. RESULTS Of 101 patients, 89.1% preferred scheduled follow-up to self-referral, 57% favored fewer visits than the current standard, and 85.1% endorsed regular imaging. Recurrence or second primary was associated with preference of intensive follow-up schedules (P = 0.02). There were trends for women and patients with high fear of recurrence score to favor intensive follow-up. Two-third of the participants declared willingness to participate in a randomized controlled trial. CONCLUSIONS Patients' preferences only partially correspond to current follow-up guidelines. Recruitment for randomized controlled studies evaluating the value of follow-up seems feasible.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > CTU Bern
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders (ENT)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Radiation Oncology

UniBE Contributor:

Eliçin, Olgun; Blaser, Daniela; Trelle, Sven and Giger, Roland


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




J. Wiley




Beatrice Scheidegger

Date Deposited:

05 Mar 2019 15:10

Last Modified:

19 Dec 2019 15:08

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

fear of recurrence follow-up head and neck cancer patients’ preference self-referral




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