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1.5 CE Test Hours

Oral Care for Head and Neck Cancer Symptom Management

Contrada, Emily

AJN The American Journal of Nursing: January 2018 - Volume 118 - Issue 1 - p 35,45
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000529711.62848.a2
Feature Articles
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Oral Care for Head and Neck Cancer Symptom Management


To describe an evidence-based practice change designed to reduce the severity of oral mucositis in adults receiving radiation treatment for head and neck cancer at a radiation oncology center.

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After completing this educational activity, you should be able to

  • outline the prevalence of head and neck cancer and the side effects of treatment.
  • identify the methods and components of this initiative.
  • discuss the results of this practice change and any implications for practice.
  1. By 2020, the National Cancer Institute predicts that about how many people will have been diagnosed with head and neck cancer?
  2. 100,000
  3. Total expenditures for treating head and neck cancer will likely exceed how many billions of dollars by that year?
  4. 3
  5. Of the following, which is a major risk factor for head and neck cancer?
  6. tobacco use
    human papillomavirus
    excessive sugar consumption
  7. What proportion of patients receiving radiation treatment for head and neck cancer develop oral mucositis?
  8. nearly two-thirds
    about three-quarters
    almost all
  9. In patients receiving radiation treatment for head and neck cancer, the highest severity of oral mucositis occurs around treatment week
  10. 4.
  11. Which of the following occurs in more than 90% of patients who receive radiation therapy of the head and neck?
  12. xerostomia
    persistent cough
    jaw stiffness
  13. For 1 to 3 months after radiation treatment, xerostomia persists in approximately what proportion of patients who develop it?
  14. half
  15. Which statement about clinical practice guidelines for oral care is accurate?
  16. Well-developed clinical practice guidelines are readily available.
    Adoption of guidelines has been consistent among practitioners.
    There is abundant evidence about specific oral care protocols.
  17. What is “magic mouthwash”?
  18. a mouthwash that contains anticholinergic medications
    an oral care product that is as effective as traditional mouthwashes
    an oral rinse endorsed by the American Dental Association
  19. The oral care kits that were part of the intervention the authors described contained which of the following toothpastes?
  20. Biotene
  21. The oral care kits included lip care products containing
  22. sunscreen.
  23. Which of the following products for making an oral rinse solution was included in the oral care kits?
  24. hydrogen peroxide
    baking soda
  25. Evaluation of clinician responses to the pre- and postimplementation questionnaires showed that clinicians had the greatest improvement in their knowledge about
  26. patient education helping to reduce oral mucositis severity.
    patient education being important for oral mucositis prevention.
    oral health influencing general health.
  27. The least improvement in clinicians’ knowledge occurred regarding which of the following?
  28. being able to identify which patients needed oral mucositis prevention
    patients receiving oral care at least twice per day
    oral care being important
  29. At week 4 to 5 of radiation treatment, the intervention group experienced reductions in oral mucositis symptoms compared with the usual care group. The greatest difference between the groups can be seen for which of the following symptoms?
  30. difficulty talking
    difficulty swallowing
    difficulty eating
  31. The authors used the findings of the project to address their primary concern, which was
  32. applicability.
  33. After the project, which of the following items did the team add to the oral care kit?
  34. a denture cup
    brush picks
    an oral anesthetic
  35. The authors reported learning a major lesson when
  36. physicians sporadically ordered “magic mouthwash.”
    the patients were nonadherent to the protocol.
    the nurse manager left her position.
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