Head and neck cancer is prevalent in Taiwan, and oral cancer is the most common location. Patients with advanced stage of the disease need extensive tumor excision with neck dissection. Secondary reconstructive surgeries using free flap could improve the postoperative function or appearance of cancer survivors. Oral functions include respiration, speech, mastication, deglutition, and cosmetics. Advanced treatments make survival rates increased, but might develop shoulder dysfunction, speech, mastication, donor site morbidity and psychological issues. The purpose of this project is to explore the effects of rehabilitation following reconstructive surgery in oral cancer survivors.
This study design is an interrupted time-series design. The investigators will recruit 50 subjects one week following reconstructive surgery. The measurements include manual muscle strength, joint range of motion, maximal mouth opening, pain status, hand-to-neck test, hand-to-scapula test, hand-to-opposite-scapula test, 6-minute walking test, timed up & go test, European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) quality of life questionnaire (QLQ)-C30, European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) quality of life questionnaire (QLQ)-H&N35 and return-to-work. These tests were done at the first visit (0 week post-operation), three months and six months after reconstructive surgery respectively. The intervention programs consist of edema control, scar management, pain management, respiration training, oral function training, neck and shoulder function training, donor site mobility training. Continuous variables were analyzed by descriptive statistics. One-way ANOVA was used to compare the difference between measurements. Binary logistic regression was used to predict the factors of return-to-work.