University of Oulu

Karampela M, Porat T, Mylonopoulou V and Isomursu M (2021) Rehabilitation Needs of Head and Neck Cancer Patients and Stakeholders: Case Study. Front. Oncol. 11:670790. doi:

Rehabilitation needs of head and neck cancer patients and stakeholders : case study

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Author: Karampela, Maria1; Porat, Talya2; Mylonopoulou, Vasiliki3;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Faculty of Engineering, Dyson School of Design Engineering, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
3Department Of Applied Information Technology, Division of Human Computer Interaction, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Frontiers Media, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-12-10


Background: The incidents of Head and Neck Cancer (HNC) are rising worldwide, suggesting that this type of cancer is becoming more common. The foreseen growth of incidents signifies that future rehabilitation services will have to meet the needs of a wider population.

Objective: The aim of this paper is to explore the needs of patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals during HNC rehabilitation.

Methods: This paper reports the empirical findings from a case study that was conducted in a cancer rehabilitation center in Copenhagen to elicit the needs of HNC cancer patients, informal caregivers and healthcare professionals.

Results: Four areas of needs during the rehabilitation process were identified: service delivery, emotional, social and physical needs. Service delivery needs and emotional needs have been identified as the most prevalent.

Conclusions: Stakeholders’ needs during the rehabilitation process were found to be interrelated. All stakeholders faced service delivery challenges in the form of provision and distribution of information, including responsibilities allocation between municipalities, hospitals and rehabilitation services. Emotional and social needs have been reported by HNC patients and informal caregivers, underlining the importance of inclusion of all actors in the design of future healthcare interventions. Connected Health (CH) solutions could be valuable in provision and distribution of information.

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Series: Frontiers in oncology
ISSN: 2234-943X
ISSN-E: 2234-943X
ISSN-L: 2234-943X
Volume: 11
Article number: 670790
DOI: 10.3389/fonc.2021.670790
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3122 Cancers
Copyright information: © 2021 Karampela, Porat, Mylonopoulou and Isomursu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.