Social and quality of life impact using a voice prosthesis after laryngectomy

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Abstract

Purpose of review

This review is intended to give an up-to-date overview of key developments in the evidence base relating specifically to the social and quality of life (QOL) impact of using a voice prosthesis, with reflections on the impact on clinical practice.

Recent findings

Recent studies have shed light on the role of social support on psychological adjustment after laryngectomy, developing the existing evidence base on psychological sequelae. Investigations into the relationship between voice intensity/intelligibility and voice handicap/QOL may suggest a relationship for some patients, and current tools for measuring these constructs are evaluated. Recent qualitative research on the lived experience and social impact of using a voice prosthesis is presented.

Summary

Little research is currently available exploring the impact of using a voice prosthesis on social participation, which is reflected in the dearth of participation-focused interventions for laryngectomy patients. Further research on the lived experience of tracheoesophageal speech is required to understand this phenomenon and develop appropriate interventions for enhancing communication, participation and QOL with a voice prosthesis after laryngectomy.

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