Loyola University Maryland

Emerging Scholars

Shauna Berube, Marie R. Kerins, Ed.D.

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The Effects of Counseling in Adults with Laryngectomies: A Research Proposal

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For patients with head and neck cancer, total laryngectomy (TL) is a viable treatment options that may save a patients life. This life-saving procedure, however, can drastically change a patient’s life, as the surgery causes a permanent loss of voice (American Cancer Society, 2011; Hopkins et al., 2005). Research reveals that there is a relatively high incidence of TL patients that are not educated or counseled about the loss of voice and their communication options before and after surgery (Zeine & Larson, 1999). This loss of ability and functioning has implications in the decline of socialization and mental health, and thus can impact an individuals overall quality of life (QOL) (ACS, 2011; Eadie & Doyle, 2004).

Research has compared self-rated QOL of individuals who use various modalities of alaryngeal speech, and also the QOL individuals who receive different medical intervention, and have found that overall TL patients have a poor QOL (Carr et al., 2000; Finizia & Bergman, 2001; Trivedi et al., 2008). Further, the literature recognizes the lack of counsel TL patients receive in regards to post-surgical treatment options, changes in anatomy, and the overall effects of surgery on the individuals everyday functioning and suggests that this negatively impacts patients QOL (ACS, 2011; Hanna et al., 2004; Johansson et al., 2008; Murphy et al., 2007).

In this study, the QOL, as measured by the Voice Related Quality of Life (VRQOL), of laryngectomees who receive preoperative and postoperative counseling from a speech-language pathologist (SLP) will be compared to the QOL of individuals post-laryngectomy who did not receive preoperative and post operative counseling from an SLP.