Journal Article

Development of the ‘ACT now & check-it-out’ intervention to support patient-initiated follow up for head and neck cancer patients


Objective. Current Head and Neck cancer (HNC) follow-up models are considered sub-optimal at detecting recurrences. We describe the development of a patient-initiated follow up (PIFU) trial intervention support package, to support HNC patients to engage in PIFU self-care behaviors. Methods. An intervention mapping approach, informed by evidence synthesis, theory and stakeholder consultation, guided intervention development. Data sources included a patient survey (n = 144), patient interviews (n = 30), 7 workshops with patients (n = 25) and caregivers (n = 3) and 5 workshops with health professionals (n = 21). Results. The intervention (‘ACT now & check-it-out’) comprises an education and support session with a health professional and an app and/or a booklet for patients. The main targets for change in patient self-care behaviors were: assessing what is normal for them; regularly checking for symptom changes; prompt help-seeking for persistent/new symptoms; self-management of fear of recurrence; engaging with the intervention over time. Conclusions. We have developed an evidence, person and theory-based intervention to support PIFU self-care behaviors in HNC patients. Practice implications. A trial is underway to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the intervention. If successful, this intervention could be adapted for patients with other cancers or diseases, which is important given the recent shift towards PIFU pathways.

Attached files


Matheson, Lauren
Greaves, Colin
Duda, Joan L.
Wells, Mary
Secher, Denis
Rhodes, Pat
Lorenc, Ava
Jepson, Marcus
Ozakinci, Gozde
Watson, Eila
Fulton-Lieuw, Tessa
Mittal, Saloni
Main, Barry
Nankivell, Paul
Mehanna, Hisham
Brett, Jo
PETNECK2 research team

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Nursing


Year of publication: 2023
Date of RADAR deposit: 2023-10-24

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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