Development and pre-testing of a rehabilitation planning consultation for head-and-neck cancer

S. McEwen, C. Dunphy, J. Norman Rios, A. Davis, J. Jones, A. Lam, I. Poon, R. Martino, J. Ringash



In contrast with other major chronic conditions such as heart disease and stroke, cancer care does not routinely integrate evidence-based rehabilitation services within the standard continuum. The objectives of the present project were to develop a rehabilitation planning consultation (rpc) for survivors of head-and-neck (hn) cancer, to test its feasibility, and to make refinements.


Using intervention mapping, the rpc-alpha was developed by examining potential theoretical methods and practical applications relative to the program objectives. During feasibility testing, a single case series was conducted with survivors of hn cancer who had completed their cancer treatment within the preceding 11 months; iterative refinements were made after each case.


The rpc-alpha was led by a rehabilitation professional and was based on self-management principles. The initial consultation included instruction in a global cognitive strategy, goal-setting, introduction to available resources, action planning, and coping planning. A follow-up consultation was conducted a few weeks later. Of 9 participants recruited, 5 completed post-intervention assessments. Participants reported that the rpc helped them to make rehabilitation plans.


The rpc was feasible to use and satisfactory to a small group of hn cancer survivors. A pilot test of the refined version is in process.


Head-and-neck cancer; rehabilitation; self-management; cognitive strategy use; intervention mapping; program development

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)