Interaction of functional and participation issues on quality of life after total laryngectomy

Maartje Leemans, Klaske E. van Sluis, Rob J. J. H. van Son, Michiel W. M. van den Brekel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Total laryngectomy (TL) leads to lifelong physical changes which can lead to functional and participation issues. To assess the relationship between self-reported quality of life and functional and participation issues, a large international online questionnaire was used.

A questionnaire was sent out to 8119 recipients of whom 1705 (21%) responded. The questionnaire consisted of 26 questions regarding demographic information, product use of the respondents, experienced overall health and independence, and functional and participation issues. Respondents were grouped based on sex, age, time since TL, educational level, and country of residence. Questions were grouped in one measure of reported quality of life (r-QoL) and seven issue themes (“esthetic issues,” “experienced limitations in daily activities,” “avoiding social activities,” “communication issues,” “experienced vulnerability due to environmental factors,” “pulmonary issues,” and “sleep issues”) to assess the underlying relations.

This study showed that more functional and participation issues and a lower r-QoL are reported in the group of younger respondents (<60 years), women, and respondents who have had the TL procedure less than 2 years ago. The issue themes “experienced limitations in daily activities” and “avoiding social activities” are related to r-QoL. Most participants report “pulmonary issues,” and these issues have a strong correlation with most other themes.

The ability to participate in meaningful and social activities is a major factor in r-QoL. Due to the frequency and strong correlations of pulmonary issues with other issue themes, pulmonary issues might be an underlying cause of many other issues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-460
JournalLaryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

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