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01.03.2012 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2012

Supportive Care in Cancer 3/2012

Experiences of patients with laryngectomies as they reintegrate into their community

Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 3/2012
Penny Dooks, Maurene McQuestion, David Goldstein, Alex Molassiotis



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.


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.


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.


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.

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