The Use of Technology for Phone and Face-to-Face Communication After Total Laryngectomy Purpose The purpose of this article is to describe the characteristics and experiences of individuals who use technology to support telephone or face-to-face communication after total laryngectomy. Method An online questionnaire was used to identify potential participants. Seventeen individuals met inclusion criteria and participated in an in-depth survey. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2017
The Use of Technology for Phone and Face-to-Face Communication After Total Laryngectomy
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jana M. Childes
    NW Clinic for Voice & Swallowing, Dept. of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
  • Andrew D. Palmer
    NW Clinic for Voice & Swallowing, Dept. of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
  • Melanie Fried-Oken
    NW Clinic for Voice & Swallowing, Dept. of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
  • Donna J. Graville
    NW Clinic for Voice & Swallowing, Dept. of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Jana M. Childes: childesj@ohsu.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Susan Fager
    Associate Editor: Susan Fager×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2017
The Use of Technology for Phone and Face-to-Face Communication After Total Laryngectomy
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2017, Vol. 26, 99-112. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-14-0106
History: Received July 25, 2014 , Revised December 31, 2014 , Accepted June 22, 2016
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2017, Vol. 26, 99-112. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-14-0106
History: Received July 25, 2014; Revised December 31, 2014; Accepted June 22, 2016

Purpose The purpose of this article is to describe the characteristics and experiences of individuals who use technology to support telephone or face-to-face communication after total laryngectomy.

Method An online questionnaire was used to identify potential participants. Seventeen individuals met inclusion criteria and participated in an in-depth survey. They were compared with a reference group matched for age, gender, and time postsurgery who did not use these technologies. Open-ended responses were summarized.

Results Compared with the matched reference group, individuals who used technology to support verbal communication had undergone more aggressive cancer treatment and used more communication methods. They were less likely to use an alaryngeal speech method, had greater difficulty over the telephone, and used more repair strategies in face-to-face communication. The 2 groups did not differ significantly in the frequency or success of their communication, however. Open-ended responses revealed great variety with regard to their reasons, purposes, and timing of technology use.

Conclusions There is a subset of individuals using technology to support verbal communication very successfully after laryngectomy. Usage was not limited to those who were unable to communicate verbally and often continued long after the initial postoperative period in many settings, for various purposes, and in combination with other methods of communication.

Acknowledgments
The authors gratefully acknowledge the participation of the members of the WebWhispers online support group for their assistance in completing this study and, in particular, the late Pat Wertz Sanders for allowing us to use the WebWhispers listserv for the study and her support and encouragement in recruiting the sample. She was a tireless advocate for the laryngectomy community and will be greatly missed.
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