The effect of cryotherapy on chemotherapy induced oral mucositis in Egyptian cancer patients: A randomized controlled trial

Hanan Mohamed Mohamed Soliman


Background and objective: Oral Mucositis (OM) is a common adverse side-effect caused by cancer treatments (chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy).  And can lead to mucosa toxicity. Patients with OM may experience extreme pain and may not be able to eat, drink and talk and, as a result, their quality of life is impaired. Treatment and prevention of OM in adult patients treated with chemotherapy are challenging issues for health care professionals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of cryotherapy on incidence and severity of chemotherapy-induced OM and OM related pain in patients treated with combined chemotherapy (Fluorouracil and Leucovorin).

Methods: This study is a randomized controlled trial with a random assignment to cryotherapy and control groups. The study was conducted on 40 cancer patients who underwent chemotherapy. The 20 patients in cryotherapy group were received instructions for sucking ice cubes in their mouth for five minutes before, during and shortly after chemotherapy. The 20 patients in control group received routine care. OM and pain severity were evaluated at 7th, 14th and 21st days of the study after chemotherapy using WHO Mucositis grading and-Numeric Pain Rating Scale.

Results: In the majority of patients in cryotherapy group, oral Mucositis was not detected (Grade 0) at 7th, 14th and 21st days similarly incidence of grade 1 and 2 of OM in cryotherapy group significantly lowered when compared with control group where p < .001. During the study period, patients in the control group exhibit a significantly higher level of oral discomfort (p = .001).

Conclusions: Oral cryotherapy due to its easy administration, tolerability and lack of adverse effects which makes it a very important method for decreasing the severity and incidence of OM and OM associated pain. The oncology nurses have a pivotal role in the application and success of cryotherapy.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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