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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language
- Speech and Hearing