Characteristics associated with communicative participation after total laryngectomy

Kimberly L. Dahl, Rachel K. Bolognone, Jana M. Childes, Rebecca L. Pryor, Donna J. Graville, Andrew D. Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify individual characteristics that are associated with communicative participation after total laryngectomy (TL). Methods: This study was a single-institution investigation of individuals who had undergone TL. Data were collected at a single timepoint via patient self-report and medical record review. Thirty-five participants completed a questionnaire containing a communication survey as well as several published, validated instruments. Independent variables included characteristics related to demographics, health and medical history, social network composition, and communication. The dependent variable was communicative participation, which was assessed using the Communicative Participation Item Bank (CPIB). Correlations between the independent variables and CPIB scores were calculated to assess the influence of these characteristics on communicative participation. The study participants were subdivided into three distinct groups based on whether their primary method of communication was spoken or non-spoken and the frequency of using alternate methods of communication. Outcomes across the three groups were then compared. A follow-up survey was also conducted to examine the impact of “stay at home” orders during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020–21. Results: There were significant correlations between communicative participation and some non-communication-related characteristics. Reduced communicative participation was associated with younger age, less time since TL, a history of reconstructive surgery, poorer self-rated health, more depressive symptoms, worse quality of life, and a weaker social network of friends. Several communication-related characteristics were also associated with CPIB scores. Increased communicative participation was associated with using fewer non-spoken communication methods, higher levels of satisfaction with speech and communication, and better communicative effectiveness. There were significant differences between the three groups for communicative effectiveness and satisfaction with speech. The three groups did not differ significantly for satisfaction with communication or communicative participation. There were no significant differences in CPIB scores measured before and during the pandemic. Conclusions: Communicative participation is a complex measure that may be affected by a variety of factors related to demographics, health, social network status, and communication. Despite poorer communicative effectiveness and lower levels of satisfaction, individuals who use non-spoken methods of communication after TL did not demonstrate worse communicative participation than those using spoken methods. Surprisingly, CPIB scores did not decline as a result of social distancing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106184
JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022


  • Communicative participation
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Total laryngectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


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