Head and Neck Cancer: Improving Patient-Reported Outcome Measures for Clinical Practice

  • Augusta SilveiraEmail author
  • Eurico Monteiro
  • Teresa Sequeira
Head and Neck Cancer (L Licitra, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Head and Neck Cancer

Opinion statement

Head and neck cancer includes a wide range of tumors that occur in several areas of the upper aerodigestive tract. Most head and neck cancer patients report treatment-related late effects (both physical and psycho-social). High-quality and patient-centered care in head and neck cancer depend on the understanding of the continuum patient’s experience—the disease pathway. Healthcare has been improved by involving patients more actively in the disease process, and a few reports support that patient-reported outcomes—built around the patient’s experience—given in a timely manner to oncologists are extremely valuable in oncology clinical care. Implementation and clinical use of patient-reported outcomes requires some procedures involving head and neck cancer patients, clinicians, researchers, and institutional leaders The unified and integrated vision is still absent and some current concerns are being discussed to optimize benefits of patient-reported outcomes use in clinical practice. The inclusion of all first-line caregivers, team formation and training, continuous monitoring improvement, and analysis are critical success factors to consider. Our team developed a broader and inclusive understanding of patient-reported outcomes. Patient-reported outcome (Health-Related Quality of Life) assessment is implemented as a systematic and routine process in Head and Neck Unit. Head and neck cancer patients consider the questionnaire administration as part of the clinical approach. We are currently working in a program (PROimp) using mathematical models to identify common head and neck cancer patterns and building prognostic predictive models, to predict future outcomes, to appraise risk/benefit of treatments (standard or new), and to estimate patient’s risk of future disease development. It is our aim to better comprehend the singular and unexpected perceptions to really provide directed and personalized cancer care defining the patient pathway. The future holds promising for PROs that are ascending as a nuclear outcome in head and neck oncology.


Oncology Head and neck cancer Patient-reported outcomes Clinical practice Patient pathway 



We acknowledge IPOP (Head and Neck Unity) and Fernando Pessoa University (Health Sciences Faculty & Science and Technology Faculty).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Augusta Silveira
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Eurico Monteiro
    • 1
    • 3
  • Teresa Sequeira
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Health Sciences FacultyFernando Pessoa University (UFP-FCS)PortoPortugal
  2. 2.Center for Health Studies and Research of the University of CoimbraCenter for Innovation in Biomedicine and BiotechnologyCoimbraPortugal
  3. 3.Portuguese Oncology Institute - PortoPortoPortugal

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