Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Patient distress after radiotherapy to the head and neck was often hidden

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

OpenUrlPubMedWeb of Science

Question What are the experiences of patients with head and neck cancer during the month after completion of radiotherapy?


Naturalistic inquiry.


Oxford, UK.


12 patients who received radical radiotherapy to squamous cell cancers in the head and neck area during a 4 month period.


After patients completed a course of radiotherapy, they were given diaries to record important events and feelings. Approximately 1 month after the completion of radiotherapy, indepth interviews were held in patients' homes. At the end of the interviews, patients were presented with a series of symptom cards. These were intended to prompt patient discussion of symptoms that might not have been addressed and provide opportunities for discussion of sensitive topics (eg, problems with kissing).

Main findings

The distress experienced by patients during the month after radiotherapy was often hidden. Patients downplayed their experience, and many showed resignation or …

View Full Text


  • Source of funding: no external funding

  • For correspondence: Mary Wells, Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee DD1 9SY, UK. Fax (0)1382 496232.