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Monday, May 25, 2015

The psychosocial impact of a total laryngectomy on the patient and their partners

A recent study by Offerman et al. from the Netherlands evaluated the psychosocial impact of a total laryngectomy (TL) on the patient and their partners.  The  study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25631352 ) surveyed 151 laryngectomees and their partners inquiring about their quality of life. A variety of psychosocial problems are reported by partners of laryngectomees, such as mood disorder, feelings of hopelessness, fear for losing their life companion and caregiver burden.

The investigators found that a considerable number of partners of laryngectomees experience a psychosocial impact of the consequences of the TL, specifically on their social life (35%) and on their sexual relationship (31%). Also, the tendency of other people to neglect their laryngectomized life companion, affects more than half of the partners negatively. Clinical levels of anxiety and depression were found in around 20% of the partners. TL has a negative effect on the sexual functioning for more than 30% of both laryngectomees and their partners, the communication for about one fifth of both laryngectomees and partners, and the feelings of dependency of the partner for one third of the laryngectomees.

The authors recommended that health care professionals should screen not only the patients but also their partners for need of support to deal with sexuality and intimacy. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting about the study. That's a pretty high number. I'm a new larengectomee (9 days old) and these are concerns I have. Iwas thinking about in a back-of-the-mind sort of way before. I'm familiar with signs of depression in myself and my partner, so we will keep an eye out for warning signs a little more actively, I think.