Social Environment and Adjustment after Laryngectomy

Jean L. Richardson, John W. Graham, David R. Shelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The relationship between social environmental variables and psychological, physical, and speech dysfunction after laryngectomy surgery was examined. The relationships between these categories of dysfunction and the following three social environmental factors were examined: acceptance and emotional support from family and friends; (2) disease-specific support from peers who have had the same surgical intervention and from professionals; and (3) socioeconomic status (SES). Data were collected from 60 total laryngectomy patients an average of 24.3 months after surgery. The type of support provided was different for each source of support, family-friend or peer-professional. Interpersonal support from family and friends was strongly associated with psychosocial and physical dysfunction but had a weaker association with speech adjustment. Diseases- specific support from speech therapists and other laryngectomees was a weaker predictor of dysfunction but a stronger predictor of communication adaptation. SES was not predictive of dysfunction or communication adaptation. Thus different sources of social support can make specific contributions to minimizing physical and psychosocial dysfunction and acquiring skills to overcome the limitations imposed by the surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-292
Number of pages10
JournalHealth and Social Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • General Medicine


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