Objectives: The authors present the guidelines of the French Oto-Rhino-Laryngology- Head and Neck Surgery Society (Société Française d'Oto-rhino-Laryngologie et de Chirurgie de la Face et du Cou [SFORL]) for the management of somatic pain induced by head-and-neck cancer treatment, and in particular the instruments needed for the definition and initial assessment of the various types of pain.
Methods: A multidisciplinary work group was entrusted with a review of the scientific literature on the above topic. Guidelines were drawn up, based on the articles retrieved and the group members' individual experience. They were then read over by an editorial group independent of the work group. The final version was established in a coordination meeting. The guidelines were graded as A, B, C or expert opinion, by decreasing level of evidence.
Results: The priority is to eliminate tumoral recurrence when pain reappears or changes following head-and-neck cancer treatment. Neuropathic pain screening instruments and pain assessment scales should be used to assess pain intensity and treatment efficacy. Functional rehabilitation sessions should be prescribed to reduce musculoskeletal pain and prevent ankylosis and postural disorder. Psychotherapy and mind-body therapy, when available, should be provided in case of chronic pain. In case of recalcitrant complex pain, referral should be made to a multidisciplinary pain structure.
Conclusion: The management of somatic pain induced by head-and-neck cancer treatment above all requires identifying and assessing the intensity of the various types of pain involved, their functional impact and their emotional component.
Keywords: Acute pain; Assessment; Chronic; Neuropathic pain; Psychogenic pain.
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