Patients' experiences with HMEs and attachments after total laryngectomy

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Abstract

Objectives:

The short-term and long-term beneficial effects of HME use by laryngectomees are well described in literature. In this study, we document how laryngectomised patients, who previously did not use an HME, get accustomed to the use of HME and attachments.

Participants:

Thirty patients, who were at least 3 months post-laryngectomy and previously did not use an HME, were followed for 12 weeks and were asked to complete questionnaires about their experiences with the HME and attachments.

Results:

Results show that when patients start using an HME, they report some difficulties with breathing resistance during the first 2 weeks of use. However, after 6 weeks, they have become accustomed to the breathing resistance and after 12 weeks over 96% reports that breathing was equal or less strenuous compared with breathing though an open stoma. Only a small proportion of patients experienced problems with increased coughing when starting HME use.

Conclusions:

This study provides insight in the way laryngectomised patients are experiencing the use of HMEs in the first weeks. These outcomes can contribute to a better knowledge of HME use by healthcare providers and help them to manage patient expectations and improving support to patients in achieving compliant HME use.

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