Role of Psychosocial Factors on Communicative Participation among Survivors of Head and Neck Cancer

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Abstract

Objective

The purpose of this study was to examine the unique contribution of psychosocial factors, including perceived social support, depression, and resilience to communicative participation, among adult survivors of head and neck cancer (HNC).

Study Design

Cross-sectional.

Setting

University-based laboratory and speech clinic.

Subjects and Methods

Adult survivors of HNC who were at least 2 years posttreatment for HNC completed patient-reported outcome measures, including those related to communicative participation and psychosocial function. Multiple linear regression analysis was conducted to predict communicative participation. Self-rated speech severity, cognitive function, laryngectomy status, and time since diagnosis were entered first as a block of variables (block 1), and psychosocial factors were entered second (block 2).

Results

Eighty-eight adults who were on average 12.2 years post–HNC diagnosis participated. The final regression model predicted 58.2% of the variance in communicative participation (full model R2 = 0.58, P < .001). Self-rated speech severity, cognitive function, laryngectomy status, and time since diagnosis together significantly predicted 46.1% of the variance in block 1. Perceived social support, depression, resilience, and interactions significantly and uniquely predicted 12.1% of the additional variance in block 2.

Conclusion

For clinicians, psychosocial factors such as perceived depression warrant consideration when counseling patients with HNC about communication outcomes and when designing future studies related to rehabilitation.

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