Digital health in head and neck cancer: a systematic review

Kate Hulse, Lucy Li, Anja Lowit, Roma Maguire, Catriona Douglas

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Objective Digital health tools are increasingly being recognised as effective interventions in monitoring chronic health conditions. This systematic review addressed how digital health is currently utilised in patients with head and neck cancer as an adjunct to care. Method Studies of the development or evaluation of an eHealth, telemedicine or telemonitoring tool were eligible. A narrative synthesis was performed as per Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses reporting guidelines. Results Twenty-nine studies of digital health tools in head and neck cancer were identified. Nine were randomised, controlled trials but most had concern of bias. Fourteen (48 per cent) of the interventions used multiple modes of delivery. The primary digital tool functions are symptom tracking and self-care, prehabilitation and rehabilitation, psychological support, and education, including decision aids. Most tools aimed to support patients during active cancer treatment. Conclusion There are a small number of digital health tools for head and neck cancer patients; however, there is a lack of well-designed randomised, controlled trials to demonstrate effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1312-1325
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Laryngology and Otology
Issue number12
Early online date20 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2023


  • digital health tools
  • head and neck neoplasms
  • telemedicine
  • rehabilitation
  • survivorship
  • quality of life


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