Oral mucositis (OM) is a common side effect of cancer therapy, resulting in pain and inflammation of soft tissue lining the mouth.1 Up to 97% of patients receiving irradiation for head and neck cancers and 40% of patients receiving chemotherapy will experience some degree of OM.1 The impact of OM on patient experience may necessitate treatment modification, dose reductions or cessation of therapy, leading to compromised patient outcomes and survivorship.2
Despite the large number of oncology patients affected by OM, there is very little UK prevalence data. Therefore, Mednet, on behalf of a pharmaceutical company, conducted a Delphi consensus study to investigate the effects of OM on healthcare resources and patient outcomes.
Following in-depth research, Mednet formulated a range of open and closed questions to gain an insight into the impact of OM. A total of three questionnaires were sent out to experts including Clinical Oncologists, Chemotherapy Nurses, and Head and Neck Nurse Specialists. Each progressive round was derived using results and responses from previous questionnaires, with a final questionnaire to gain a consensus.
The results have already provided the client with valuable data. In addition, we are thrilled that the findings have been accepted for poster presentation at The National Cancer Research Institute conference in November 2016.
To further validate the findings, Mednet is facilitating an ongoing Delphi consensus study investigating the impact of OM from a patient’s perspective.
1. National Health Service, UK. Mucositis. Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/mucositis/Pages/Introduction.aspx [Accessed October 2016]
2. National Cancer Institute. Oral complications of chemotherapy and head/neck radiation (PDQ®)-health professional version. Available from: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/side-effects/mouth-throat/oral-complications-hp-pdq [Accessed October 2016]