Effects of Oncology Rehabilitation for Head and Neck Cancers- a Systematic Review

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Purpose: Head and neck cancer (HNC) affects three to five percent of Americans. Few studies have focused on the effect of rehabilitation exercise on the common symptoms of head and neck cancer. Hence, the purpose of this literature review was to study current research regarding the effects of physical therapy implemented exercise. Method: An extensive literature search was conducted using search engines: Google scholar, PubMed, Chinhal Plus, Cochrane library, Medline and Library OneSearch. Search results: 26 sources including studies and reviews were included based on their relevance to rehabilitation exercise and head and neck cancer survivors. Conclusion: Rehabilitation exercise has been shown to have positive outcomes of quality of life in head and neck cancer survivors. Most evidence in existence is preliminary trials regarding fatigue, oral health, lymphedema, and shoulder dysfunction. A high adherence and feasibility rates for rehabilitation exercise has been found in head and neck cancer patients despite high morbidity of oncology treatment. More research on the effects of rehabilitation exercise is needed to validate the effectiveness of interventions shown in the current research available.



Oncology rehabilitation, Head and neck cancers