Experiences of patients with laryngectomies as they reintegrate into their community

Penny Dooks, Maurene McQuestion, David Goldstein, Alexandros Molasiotis

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The purpose of this qualitative study is to describe the patient's experiences as they reintegrate into the community following laryngectomy surgery and identify their perceived support and barriers within this transition. Methods: Using Thorne's interpretive descriptive approach, purposeful sampling was used to recruit participants from two large urban hospitals. In-depth, audio-taped interviews were conducted with nine participants 6-12 months following surgery. Results: Enveloped under an overarching theme of a "Constant Accommodation to Life with a Laryngectomy," were three main themes: (1) "Impact of Cancer Diagnosis," (2) "Coping with Illness: Trying to Live Life like Before," and (3) "Transitions in Recovery." Subthemes further illuminated the constant accommodation participants had to make following cancer recurrence, surgery, and returning home. Conclusions: Patients with laryngectomies face major changes in lifestyle related to altered airway, loss of voice, body image concerns, and challenges with eating. Support of family, friends, and health care professionals is critical for successful transition during this stressful period. Instant messaging, email, Web-based support groups, and video messaging can contribute to a great improvement in communication and engagement for this population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-498
Number of pages10
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Coping
  • Interpretive description
  • Laryngectomy
  • Qualitative research
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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