Quality of life after surgical treatment of cancer of the larynx

Lawrence W. DeSanto, Kerry D. Olsen, Daniel E. Rohe, William C. Perry, Robert L. Keith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


The purpose of the study was to assess the quality of life of patients after surgical treatment for cancer of the larynx. Three groups of patients were identified according to surgical treatment: total laryngectomy, 111 patients; near-total laryngectomy, 38 patients; and partial laryngectomy, 23 patients. The impact of successful surgical treatment on their life roles was analyzed in terms of work, activities, familial and spousal relationships, sexuality, and psychologic features such as stress and anxiety. Two questionnaires were used: the Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness Scale (PAIS) and the Mayo Clinic Postlaryngectomy Questionnaire. With the PAIS questionnaire, no difference was found in role adjustment between the total laryngectomy and near-total laryngectomy groups, with one exception. In the work domain, the total laryngectomy patients who were working had better adjustment than the near-total laryngectomy patients. The overall adjustment of both groups was less favorable than that of a comparison group of patients with nonlaryngeal cancer. The patients who had the classic conservation operations adjusted in all domains more favorably than the patients with permanent tracheostomas. The partial operation patients adjusted better than the nonlaryngeal cancer patients. We conclude that the stoma has a negative impact on adjustment postoperatively and that it may have a more serious impact on life adjustment than voice alteration. Further investigation and standardization of measurement tools are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)763-769
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1995


  • larynx
  • neoplasm
  • outcome
  • quality of life
  • speech
  • survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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