Cancers of the tongue and floor of mouth: five-year file audit within the acute phase

Katrina M. Blyth*, Patricia McCabe, Robert Heard, Jonathan Clark, Catherine Madill, Kirrie J. Ballard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The impact of patient, surgical, and rehabilitation factors on speech and swallowing in the acute phase for patients following tongue and/or floor of mouth cancer surgery has not been reported to date. This study reviewed functional outcomes over a 5-year period at an Australian tertiary hospital.

Method: Patient medical files from July 2006 through 2011 were audited. Patient demographics, tumor and treatment, along with speech-language pathology (SLP) intervention details were examined.

Results: Speech and swallow function were significantly different between those with primary closure and those requiring reconstruction, with significantly higher referral rate to SLP following reconstruction. The clinical speech and swallow function at SLP assessment following reconstruction was a predictor for the number of SLP intervention sessions provided. The number of intervention sessions provided to these patients significantly correlated with upgrade in fluids during hospitalization.

Conclusion: This is the first published study to report a relationship between function and dosage of clinical SLP intervention with this population. It is also the first known study to audit comprehensive functional outcomes in the acute phase of recovery with an Australian cohort. The findings contribute to establishing evidence-based SLP practice with this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-678
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


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