Quarterly scientific journal

Patient anxiety and depression after laryngectomy

Thalia Bellali , Maria Avramika , Athanasios Mastrokostas , Peter Theodosis


Laryngeal cancer is responsible for various physical and psychosocial problems for the patients who often exhibit high levels of anxiety and depression. Aim: The aim of this study was to explore anxiety and depression levels of laryngeal cancer patients after total or partial laryngectomy, comparing three groups with different clinical traits. Material-method: This study follows a cross-sectional survey design. The population of the study included 168 hospitalized patients from two large urban hospitals from Athens and Thessaloniki. Sixty five patients (38.7%) had total laryngectomy as part of their treatment (group A), 63 patients (37.5%) had partial laryngectomy or other treatment (radiation or chemotherapy) with voice maintenance (group B) and 40 patients (23.8%) had also total laryngectomy but they participated additionally in a self care training program (group C). This survey used the following instruments: a) a demographic data and clinical traits questionnaire, b) the Self Rated Depression Scale (SRDS-Zung) and c) the Self Rated Anxiety Scale (SRAS-Zung). Statistical analysis included Mann-Whitney U test, Kruskal-Wallis test and Chi-square test, using SPSS 15 statistical package. Results: Overall 9.6% and 19% of patients exhibited symptoms of anxiety and depression respectively, while patients after laryngectomy (group A) presented the higher percentages. Both group B and C had lower anxiety and depression levels compared with group A (p<0.05). However, no significant difference was found between group B and C for anxiety (p=0.222) and depression (p=0.198). Conclusion: Patients after laryngectomy exhibit high anxiety and depression levels. It is suggested that training programs promoting self care may help anxiety management and prevent depression after the traumatizing experience of laryngectomy.

Keywords: Anxiety, depression, laryngeal cancer, laryngectomy, self care program

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