Severe oral mucositis associated with cancer therapy: Impact on oral functional status and quality of life

Karis Kin Fong Cheng*, S. F. Leung, Raymond H.S. Liang, Josepha W.M. Tai, Rebecca M.W. Yeung, David Thompson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Goals of work This study determined the incidence of severe oral mucositis (OM), patients' self-reported moderate and severe oral symptoms, and change of quality of life (QoL), as well as examined whether OM severity and pain scores predicted the impairment of oral function and QoL. Patients and methods A multicenter approach was used and 137 patients treated with stomatotoxic chemotherapy (45%), high-dose myeloablative chemotherapy with or without concomitant total body irradiation (12%), head and neck irradiation with or without concomitant chemotherapy (44%) completed the OM-specific QoL measure (OMQoL) once or twice weekly over a 4- or 10-week period, along with concurrent measures of OM using WHO Mucositis Grading System and oral symptoms using 10 cm visual analog scale. Main results The incidence of severe OM was 50% (n=68). About 77-80% of patients with severe OM reported moderate or severe mouth or throat pain, and 66-78% reported moderate or severe oral functional problems. The oral symptoms peak and area-under-thecurve (AUC) scores of patients with severe OM (peak 5.6 to 6.8; AUC 3.8 to 5.2) were significantly higher than those without OM and those with mild OM (p<0.01). The OMQoL subscales peak and AUC scores of patients with severe OM (peak 47.9 to 62.1; AUC -40.1 to -25.8) were significantly lower than those without OM and those with mild OM (p<0.01). Of those with severe OM, 88-94% had a drop in the OMQoL subscale scores to at least 10 points from the baseline. Pain resulting from OM, in particular throat pain, is most predictive of oral functional impairment (standardized β=0.53-0.83). Conclusions Severe OM can cause profound pain and oral functional incapability and clinical significant impairment of QoL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1477-1485
Number of pages9
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Volume18
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2010

Keywords

  • Pain
  • Quality of life
  • Severe oral mucositis
  • Symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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