Dysphagia following a total laryngectomy: the effect on quality of life, functioning, and psychological well-being.

Research paper by Julia J Maclean, Susan S Cotton, Alison A Perry

Indexed on: 18 Mar '09Published on: 18 Mar '09Published in: Dysphagia


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect that dysphagia has on quality of life (QoL), functioning, and psychological well-being of people who have undergone a total laryngectomy. A questionnaire battery was sent to all members (N = 197) of the Laryngectomee Association of NSW, Australia. QoL and functioning were assessed using the World Health Organisation Quality of Life-Bref (WHOQoL-Bref) and the University of Washington QoL (UW-QoL) measures. Psychological well-being was measured using the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS). One hundred ten questionnaires (56%) were completed and returned. There were no significant differences in QoL, as measured by the WHOQoL-Bref, between those laryngectomees with and without dysphagia. Laryngectomees with dysphagia, however, had significantly impaired functioning and markedly reduced social participation as measured by the UW-QoL. Significantly higher levels of depression and anxiety were also documented in those laryngectomees who had dysphagia. Dysphagia may not necessarily determine QoL following a total laryngectomy. However, it may have a negative impact on functioning and on psychological well-being.