Support following total laryngectomy: Exploring the concept from different perspectives

Document Type

Journal Article




School of Medical and Health Sciences


Originally published as: Bickford, J. M., Coveney, J., Baker, J., & Hersh, D. (2018). Support following total laryngectomy: Exploring the concept from different perspectives. European journal of cancer care, 27(3), e12848. Original article available here


Adjustment after total laryngectomy is complex, and the resultant support needs are extensive. Current practice is often guided by health‐related quality of life measures. While useful, many of these tools were developed without considering the perspectives of people who have experienced the surgery. To improve understanding of the support needs after total laryngectomy, multiple viewpoints were examined, for example individuals with a laryngectomy (IWL), significant others (SO) and health professionals (HP). A qualitative study explored the perspectives of 28 individuals (IWL—seven men and five women, nine SO and seven HP). Data were collected through in‐depth, semi‐structured interviews and analysed using constructivist grounded theory and symbolic interactionism. The data suggested that the construct “being supported to develop competence and resilience” is a multidimensional and nonlinear phenomenon underpinned by the interactive processes “perceiving influencing factors,” “building trusting relationships” and “sharing and balancing the care.” The findings highlight the significant contribution the care triad (i.e., IWL, SO and HP) plays and the factors influencing care, safety and dignity for IWL. Furthermore, support is optimised when all stakeholders are competent with the care. In turn, reduced competence increases the burden for one or all in the triad.



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