Evaluation of a Novel Telemedicine-Based Intervention to Manage Body Image Disturbance in Head and Neck Cancer Survivors

Head and Neck Cancer

Graboyes EM, et al. Psychooncology 2020.


OBJECTIVES: The study aimed to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary clinical impact of BRIGHT (Building a Renewed ImaGe after Head & neck cancer Treatment), a novel telemedicine-based cognitive-behavioral intervention to manage body image disturbance (BID) in head and neck cancer (HNC) survivors.

METHODS: HNC survivors with BID were enrolled into a single-arm pilot trial. Participants completed study measures at baseline, 1- and 3-months post-BRIGHT to assess its acceptability and clinical impact. Participants completed semi-structured interviews to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of BRIGHT and refine the intervention.

RESULTS: Ten HNC survivors with BID were enrolled into the trial of tablet-based BRIGHT. BRIGHT was feasible, as judged by low dropout (n = 1), high session completion rates (100%; 45/45) and low rates of technical issues with the tablet-based delivery (11% minor; 0% major). Ninety percent of participants were highly likely to recommend BRIGHT, reflecting its acceptability. BRIGHT was associated with a 34.5% reduction in mean Body Image Scale scores at 1-month post-BRIGHT (mean difference from baseline = 4.56; 95% CI 1.55, 7.56), an effect that was durable at 3-months post-BRIGHT (mean decrease from baseline = 3.56; 95% CI 1.15 to 5.96). Program evaluation revealed high levels of satisfaction with BRIGHT, particularly the delivery platform. During the qualitative evaluation, participants highlighted that BRIGHT improved image-related coping behavior.

CONCLUSIONS: BRIGHT is feasible, acceptable to HNC survivors, and has significant potential as a novel approach to manage BID in HNC survivors. Additional research is necessary to refine BRIGHT and evaluate its clinical efficacy and scalability. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.