ADHERENCE OF HEAD AND NECK CANCER PATIENTS TO LASER PHOTOBIOMODULATION FOR ORAL MUCOSITIS MANAGEMENT IN A PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE:
Objective: Evaluate the adherence of patients with head and neck cancer who underwent radiotherapy or radiochemotherapy combined to the preventive laser photobiomodulation protocol in a public health service. Methods: Thirty head and neck cancer patients undergoing cancer treatment, which were examined and interviewed through a record of signs and symptoms of oral mucositis (OM) and adherence. to the preventive laser protocol that began in the first session of radiotherapy, and included the laser application three times a week during the 3-week period. The collected data were documented and the descriptive and inferential statistics were performed with a significance level of p <0.05. Results: It was observed that 66.6% of patients developed OM. There was a predominance of grades I and II, with 36.8% and 31.6%, respectively. A total of 11 patients (36.3%) missed one or more laser photobiomodulation sessions. A positive association was found between patients who missed 4 or more laser photobiomodulation sessions with the development of OM grade III (p <0.05). Conclusion: The adherence of patients with head and neck cancer to the laser photobiomodulation protocol was high and the development of more severe degrees of OM was related to individuals not attending scheduled sessions.