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Head and neck cancer post-treatment clinical pathways for patients and relatives: hospital and patient organisations collaboration – feasibility study
  1. Guillaume Buiret1,
  2. Chloé Hamant2 and
  3. Sophie Lantheaume3,4
  1. 1 Service d’ORL, Centre Hospitalier de Valence, Valence cedex, France
  2. 2 Coordination de la recherche, Instance Régionale d’Education et de Promotion de la Santé, Lyon, France
  3. 3 Soins de Support, Hôpital Privé Drôme Ardèche, Guilherand-Granges, France
  4. 4 Laboratoire Inter-universitaire de Psychologie : Personnalité, Cognition et Changement Social (LIP PC2S), Université Grenoble Alpes, Saint-Martin-d'Heres, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Guillaume Buiret, Service d’ORL, Valence cedex, France; gbuiret{at}

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The generalisation of the announcement system in France (medical announcement consultation, personalised care programme, paramedical support and detection of supportive care in cancer (SCC) needs) has allowed for comprehensive care of a patient rather than a disease. However, despite these progresses, patients frequently complain of feeling abandoned at the end of treatment.1 2 Moreover, the after-effects of head and neck cancer (HNC) treatments are very heavy and long-lasting (swallowing, speech, breathing, fatigue, discomfort, pain, lack of appetite, appearance, etc). One of the goals of SCC is to reduce these sequelae. However, their use is a complex and subjective phenomenon, influenced by biomedical, cultural and social factors, the perception of the problem that motivates the use of care, and the presence of support persons in the patient’s environment, among others. Patient empowerment is a three-step process: perception of the problem, decision to seek help and actually seeking help.3 A postcancer support system would be a way to alleviate the aforementioned difficulties of patients by offering them dedicated time and integrated in the healthcare pathway. However, to our knowledge, this system has never been deployed in HNC.

Since 2012, the cancer announcement process has been generalised at our institution for patients with HNC. All patients are offered a time of pretherapeutic paramedical support (called ‘temps d’accompagnement soignant 1’ (TAS 1), that is, time for support …

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  • Contributors Conception or design of the work, data analysis and interpretation, drafting of the article, critical revision of the article and final approval of the version to be published: GB, CH and SL; data collection: GB.

  • Funding Financial support was provided by the French Institut National du Cancer and IRESP (#INCa-IRESP_16056).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.