Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Roganie Govender


Roganie Govender

Research interests

  • Quality of Life in patients with head and neck cancer
  • Measurement of swallowing morbidity (Dysphagia) in cancer survivors
  • Application of behaviour change theory in promoting adherence to swallowing exercise interventions
  • Psychometric validation of swallowing related outcome measures

Current research

I am currently working on the development of a pre-treatment swallowing intervention package for patients newly diagnosed with head and neck cancer. I will be using insights from the field of behavioural science and the best available current evidence from dysphagia research to model an optimised intervention. I plan to test the intervention in a small-scale randomised feasibility trial.  This project is funded by the NIHR (until June 2019).





2014 - present - NIHR/HEE Clinical Academic Doctoral Fellow
2010 - 2013 - Consultant Speech & Language Therapist, Head & Neck Cancer Centre, UCLH
1994 - 2010 - Hospital based Speech & Language Therapy posts in the UK & South Africa


1998 - MA Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
1993 - BHSc (hons) Speech Pathology & Audiology, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa


Govender R, Lee MT, Drinnan M, Davies T, Twinn C & Hilari K. (2015) Psychometric evaluation of the Swallowing Outcome after Laryngectomy (SOAL) patient-reported outcome measure. Head & Neck, in press.

Govender R, Smith CH, Taylor SA, Grey D, Wardle J, Gardner B (2015) Identification of behaviour change components in swallowing interventions for head and neck cancer patients: Protocol for a systematic review. Systematic Reviews. 4 (1) 89.

Kalavrezos N, Cotrufo S, Govender R, Rogers P, Pirgousis P, Balasundram S, Lalabekyan B & Liew C. (2014) Factors affecting swallow outcome following treatment for advanced oral & oropharyngeal malignancies. Head & Neck. 3 (1) 47-54.

Govender R, Breeson L, Tuomainen J & Smith CH. (2013) Speech & Swallowing rehabilitation after head and neck cancer: Are we hearing the patient's voice? Clinical Otolaryngology. 38 433-437.

Govender R, Lee MT, Davies TC, Twinn CE, Katsoulis KL, Payten CL, Stephens R & Drinnan M. (2012) Development & preliminary validation of a patient-reported outcome measure for swallowing after total laryngectomy (SOAL questionnaire). Clinical Otolaryngology. 37,452-459.

Khemani S, Govender R, Arora A & Vaz F (2010) A simple modification of the Taub air insufflation test. Clinical Otolaryngology. 35(3) 245-246.

Khemani S, Govender R, Arora A, O'Flynn PE & Vaz FM. (2009) Use of botulinum toxin in voice restoration after laryngectomy. Journal of Laryngology & Otology. 123(12)1308-1313.