Longitudinal comparisons of a whole-mouth taste test to clinician-rated and patient-reported outcomes of dysgeusia postradiotherapy in patients with head and neck cancer and associations with oral intake

Barbara Pisano Messing, Elizabeth C. Ward, Cathy Lazarus, Keri Ryniak, Jessica Maloney, Carol B. Thompson, Elizabeth Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: After head and neck cancer (HNC) treatment, dysgeusia may be a barrier to oral intake. In this exploratory study, we prospectively examined taste perception, clinician-rated (CRO) and patient-reported (PRO) taste changes and their effect on oral intake postradiotherapy. Methods: Twenty-eight patients were assessed at baseline, treatment weeks 2 and 4, and 1, 3, and 6 months post-treatment using a whole-mouth taste test and associated CRO and subjective PRO measures. Results: Greater taste impairment was reflected by subjective than by a whole-mouth taste test. The most significant and consistent decline occurred mid-treatment. The Chemotherapy-Induced Taste Alteration Scale (PRO) discomfort subscale correlated significantly with maintaining an oral diet, percent of oral intake, and appetite level from mid-treatment to 6 months post-treatment. Conclusions: PRO results indicated ongoing oral intake issues. Whole-mouth taste tests may fail to fully reflect functional taste-loss. Dysgeusia prevention and treatment methods are needed to improve patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHead and Neck
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • dysgeusia
  • head and neck cancer
  • oral intake
  • treatment
  • treatment-related toxicities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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