Effect of prosthetic rehabilitation on oral health-related quality of life of patients with head and neck cancer: a systematic review

Mir Faeq Ali Quadri, Abdul Wahab H. Alamir, Tenny John, Maryam Nayeem, Abbas Jessani, Santosh Kumar Tadakamadla


Background: To review the evidence on the oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) of head and neck cancer survivors after they have been treated with prosthetic rehabilitation.
Methods: Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) were utilized as the framework in designing, implementing and reporting the current review. Search of literature was done electronically using Medline, Embase, and Cochrane databases. Intervention component of the patient, intervention, comparison, outcome (PICO) for the current review was the prosthetic rehabilitation performed on the surgically treated head and neck cancer patients (participants); and outcome was the OHRQoL. Methodological index for non-randomized studies was the assessment tool utilized to report on the quality of the included studies.
Results: The initial search had identified 799 records and the final level of screening included eight articles. Six studies were experimental in design and two were cross-sectional. Cumulative sample of the head and neck cancer cases from the selected studies was 354, with 35.9 (14.9) and 72.4 (8.7) years as the highest and lowest mean age recorded from the included studies. More male cases (69.5%) were reported than female cases (30.5%) and squamous cell carcinoma was the most commonly diagnosed malignancy. Maxillary reconstruction and implant supported prosthesis were the choice of treatment for most of the cases. Different versions of oral health impact profile (OHIP) constructs were preferred by six studies. While, one study utilized University of Washington quality of life questionnaire and the other utilized European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer’s Quality of Life Questionnaire. Arguably, three studies had compared the OHRQoL scores of head and neck cancer patients with healthy counterparts through a follow-up period ranging from 1 to 2 years.
Conclusions: The included studies did not provide substantial evidence to demonstrate the improvement in OHRQoL of head and neck cancer patients after prosthetic rehabilitation. More prospective studies are needed with representative sample, robust methodology and a longer follow-up period. The current study provides a direction to the clinical decision-making process and the epidemiological research to enhance the patients and public health-related outcomes.

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