Rehabilitation Planning Consult Phase II Trial

Official Title

Efficacy of the Rehabilitation Planning Consult for Survivors of Head and Neck Cancer: A Phase II Randomized Controlled Trial


The study will evaluate the efficacy of the Rehabilitation Planning Consult (RPC) to achieve key rehabilitation outcomes in survivors of head and neck cancer compared to a waiting list control group. The RPC is a consultative intervention that teaches survivors to use self-management and problem solving strategies to meet and attain individualized goals. Follow-through with plans and goal attainment are facilitated by a Rehabilitation Consultant. Results from this study will be used to plan for a larger multi-site trial and subsequent real world implementation.

Trial Description

Primary Outcome:

  • Change in the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey - Physical Composite Summary
Secondary Outcome:
  • Change in Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - Head and Neck scores
  • Change in Brief Rehabilitation Assessment for Survivors of Head and Neck Cancer scores
  • Change in 36-Item Short Form Health Survey - Mental Composite Summary scores
Survivors of head and neck cancer (HNC) often have significant impairments, functional limitations, and reduced quality of life (QL). Rehabilitation services, such as speech-language pathology to improve swallowing, physiotherapy to improve neck mobility, and occupational therapy to enable return to work, can effectively reduce the impact of impairments, restore function, and improve QL. However, access to rehabilitation for survivors of HNC is extremely limited. A trans-professional self-management program is needed to provide resources, links to community providers, and instruction in problem-solving strategies. The program should fit seamlessly into the cancer care system with minimal additional resources. To meet these specifications, an innovative intervention, the Rehabilitation Planning Consult (RPC), was developed and evaluated. The RPC is delivered in 1 to 2 sessions and, in a single arm pilot study, had a moderate to large effect on several aspects of QL and individualized goal attainment. It remains unknown whether the RPC is efficacious in comparison to standard care. In preparation for a Phase III trial, the effect of the RPC, as compared to a standard care control will be estimated, on HNC survivors' QL, attainment of individualized goals, and self-efficacy related to self-management. To facilitate recruitment and ensure ethical provision of services, participants will be randomized to a waiting list control (WLC) or RPC. Assessments will be conducted at three time points for the RPC group and four times for the WLC group. Based on pilot data, approximately 43% of the RPC group are expected to achieve a minimal important difference (MID) in QL, thus 56 participants per arm, 112 participants total, will be recruited. The primary outcome will be QL related to physical health, measured using the SF-36 Physical Component Summary Score (PCS). Secondary measures will include individualized goal performance measured using the Brief Rehabilitation Assessment for Survivors of HNC, disease-specific QL measured with the FACT-HN, and self-efficacy.

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Canadian Cancer Society

These resources are provided in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society