Orofacial pain and predictors in oral squamous cell carcinoma patients receiving treatment

Shu Ching Chen*, Chun Ta Liao, Joseph Tung Chien Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

26 Scopus citations


Surgical and radiation therapy for oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) may generate orofacial pain. The aims of this study were to (1) characterize the pain experienced by people with orofacial pain, and (2) determine the factors associated with changes in orofacial pain in OSCC patients during the postoperative and post-radiation therapy periods. The study had a prospective longitudinal design with consecutive sampling. Seventy-two eligible patients were recruited from the outpatient department of otolaryngology, head and neck cancer, and radiation therapy of a medical center in northern Taiwan. A set of questionnaires was used for patient assessment, including the University of California San Francisco Oral Cancer Pain Questionnaire, Symptom Severity Scale, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and Karnofsky's Performance Status Index. Patients were assessed at two time points: 1 month after surgery (T1) and 1 month after completion of radiation treatment (T2). The findings showed that (1) patients reported moderate orofacial pain at both time points; (2) orofacial pain, oral function-related symptoms, and psychological distress were significantly higher at T1 than at T2; and (3) older age, eating difficulty, speech difficulty, and depression were significant predictors of orofacial pain. Oral rehabilitation and relaxation training may reduce orofacial pain in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-135
Number of pages5
JournalOral Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 02 2011


  • Oral function-related symptom
  • Oral squamous cell carcinoma
  • Orofacial pain
  • Postoperative concurrent chemoradiotherapy
  • Postoperative radiation therapy


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