Coping and Adjustment in Alaryngeal Speakers In this investigation the coping, adjustment, self-esteem, general well-being, perceived communication abilities, and preferred communication modes of 41 patients with laryngectomies were evaluated. Specifically, we wanted to determine how well patients with laryngectomies adjust to and cope with their cancer, whether differences in coping and adjustment vary as a function ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 1992
Coping and Adjustment in Alaryngeal Speakers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gordon W. Blood, PhD
    Department of Communication Disorders The Pennsylvania State University 216 Moore Building University Park, PA 16802
  • Amy R. Luther
    Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, PA
  • Joseph C. Stemple
    Professional Voice Center of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 1992
Coping and Adjustment in Alaryngeal Speakers
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, January 1992, Vol. 1, 63-69. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0102.63
History: Received April 30, 1991 , Accepted September 27, 1991
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, January 1992, Vol. 1, 63-69. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0102.63
History: Received April 30, 1991; Accepted September 27, 1991

In this investigation the coping, adjustment, self-esteem, general well-being, perceived communication abilities, and preferred communication modes of 41 patients with laryngectomies were evaluated. Specifically, we wanted to determine how well patients with laryngectomies adjust to and cope with their cancer, whether differences in coping and adjustment vary as a function either of the type of alaryngeal voice used or the amount of time since the laryngectomy, and whether relationships exist between the speech of patients with laryngectomies and their adjustment. Standardized interview protocols and tests were employed during face-to-face interviews. Results revealed that 73% of the sample showed good adjustment and used predominantly problem-focused and seeking-social-support strategies to cope with their cancer. The 27% who were classified as poor copers also performed poorly on self-esteem and general well-being measures and used more self-blame and avoidance strategies. There were no significant differences among different types of preferred communication modes. Significant differences existed between patients with recent and distant laryngectomies; the latter showed better overall adjustment. The subjects who were well adjusted also tended to view their voice rehabilitation as more beneficial and rated themselves as more easily understood by listeners than did those subjects demonstrating psychological distress and poor adjustment. Implications for advanced voice therapy, the need for counseling and referrals, and the relationship among voice, self-esteem, and therapy are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This research is supported by John Scripps Research Grant, Head and Neck Cancer Rehabilitation Center, Indianapolis, Indiana; W. K. Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Fellowship; and Gerontology Center Initiation Grant at The Pennsylvania State University awarded to the first author. We express our appreciation to Patricia Tate for her invaluable help in the manuscript preparation.
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