Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

ObjectiveTo determine the feasibility of a randomised controlled trial to estimate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a rehabilitation intervention following neck dissection (ND) after head and neck cancer (HNC).DesignTwo-arm, open, pragmatic, parallel, multicentre, randomised controlled feasibility trial.SettingTwo UK NHS hospitals.ParticipantsPeople who had HNC in whom a ND was part of their care. We excluded those with a life expectancy of six months or less, pre-existing, long-term neurological disease affecting the shoulder and cognitive impairment.InterventionUsual care (standard care supplemented with a booklet on postoperative self-management) was received by all participants. The GRRAND intervention programme consisted of usual care plus up to six individual physiotherapy sessions including neck and shoulder range of motion and progressive resistance exercises, advice and education. Between sessions, participants were advised to complete a home exercise programme.Randomisation1:1 randomisation. Allocation was based on minimisation, stratified by hospital site and spinal accessory nerve sacrifice. It was not possible to mask treatment received.Main outcome measuresPrimary: Participant recruitment, retention and fidelity to the study protocol and interventions from study participants and staff at six months post-randomisation (and 12 months for those reaching that time-point). Secondary: clinical measures of pain, function, physical performance, health-related quality of life, health utilisation and adverse events.Results36 participants were recruited and enrolled. The study achieved five of its six feasibility targets. These included consent - 70% of eligible participants were consented; intervention fidelity - 78% participants discharged completed the intervention sessions; contamination - none - no participants in the control arm received the GRRAND-F intervention and retention - 8% of participants were lost to follow-up. The only feasibility target that was not achieved was the recruitment target where only 36 of the planned 60 participants were recruited over 18 months. This was principally due to the COVID-19 pandemic which caused all research activity to be paused or reduced, with a subsequent reduction in.ConclusionsBased on the findings a full-trial can now be designed to better understand whether this proposed intervention is effective.Clinical Trial Registration, identifier ISRCTN11979997.

Original publication




Journal article


Frontiers in Oncology


Frontiers Media SA

Publication Date