Communication adjustment of patients with a laryngectomy in Turkey: Analysis by type of surgery and mode of speech

Evitts P. M., KASAPOĞLU F., Demirci U., Miller J. S.

PSYCHOLOGY HEALTH & MEDICINE, vol.16, no.6, pp.650-660, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/13548506.2011.575167
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.650-660
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Previous studies have routinely shown that individuals with a laryngectomy (IWL) have a decreased quality of life (QoL). However, the questionnaires frequently used are not specifically designed for persons with laryngeal cancer and may not reflect the issues of most concern to IWL. The purpose of this study was to investigate (1) the overall communication adjustment of IWL in Turkey, (2) the differences in communication adjustment among types of surgery for the treatment of laryngeal cancer, and (3) the differences in communication adjustment among types of speech following treatment for laryngeal cancer. Fifty-two patients (50 males and two females) who underwent surgical treatment for laryngeal cancer (i.e. total, supraglottic, frontolateral, vertical, supracricoid) and were being seen for follow-up care were recruited from an ENT clinic in Bursa, Turkey. Patients were provided with a written translation of the Self-Evaluation of Communication Experiences after Laryngectomy (SECEL) which yielded information on three subscales (General, Environment, and Attitude) and a Total score. Kruskall-Wallis and Wilcoxon signed ranks nonparametric tests of significance showed that overall adjustment was within the well-adjusted range for all types of surgery and modes of speech with two exceptions: Mean scores for supracricoid laryngectomy with cricohyoidopexy (28.5) and esophageal speech (29.3) were both within the poorly adjusted range on the Environment subscale [lowest mean score = 8.7 (supraglottic)]. Total mean scores ranged from 19.8 (supraglottic) to 49.9 (esophageal speech). Mean scores of the General subscale ranged from 4.0 (electrolaryngeal speech) to 7.7 (tracheoesophageal speech). Mean scores of the Attitude subscale ranged from 6.2 (supraglottic) to 19 (electrolaryngeal). Results of the Kruskall-Wallis test also showed a significant difference between type of surgery for the Environment subscale (p = 0.003), the Attitude subscale (p = 0.039), and the Total score (p = 0.007). The results suggest that overall, IWL in Turkey are well-adjusted to their new voice. However, results also showed that certain conservation surgeries (i.e. supraglottic, frontolateral, vertical) yielded more favorable outcomes than either supracricoid laryngectomy or speech following total laryngectomy. This finding is most likely related to the amount of tissue preserved following conservation surgery, in particular the preservation of the vocal folds.