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Improving Social Perception After Laryngeal Cancer Treatment: Key Insights for Practitioners

Improving Social Perception After Laryngeal Cancer Treatment: Key Insights for Practitioners

As practitioners in the field of speech-language pathology, it is essential to understand the social perceptions of patients who have undergone treatment for laryngeal cancer. The research article "Listeners Social Perception of Speakers after Treatment for Laryngeal Cancer" provides valuable insights that can help improve our therapeutic approaches and patient outcomes.

The study examined how listeners perceive the voices of individuals treated with three primary methods for laryngeal cancer: radiation therapy, total laryngectomy, and supracricoid laryngectomy. Forty listeners rated the voices of speakers from four groups: individuals treated with radiation therapy, individuals treated with total laryngectomy and rehabilitated with a tracheoesophageal voice prosthesis, individuals treated with supracricoid laryngectomy, and individuals with no history of vocal disorders. The listeners rated the speakers' voices on scales with eight descriptors related to the social perception of speech.

Key Findings

Implications for Practitioners

These findings highlight the importance of addressing not only the physical and functional outcomes of laryngeal cancer treatments but also the social and psychological impacts. Here are some strategies practitioners can implement based on the research outcomes:

1. Comprehensive Counseling

Ensure that patients are fully informed about the potential social perceptual consequences of different treatment options. This can help them make more informed decisions about their care.

2. Focused Rehabilitation

Develop targeted voice rehabilitation programs that aim to improve the vocal qualities perceived negatively by listeners. This may include working on pitch variation, reducing monotony, and enhancing overall vocal quality.

3. Social Skills Training

Incorporate social skills training into therapy sessions to help patients navigate potential social stigmatization and improve their interactions with others.

4. Further Research

Encourage ongoing research into the social perceptions of vocal outcomes following laryngeal cancer treatments. This will help refine therapeutic approaches and improve patient quality of life.

By integrating these strategies into your practice, you can help mitigate the negative social perceptions associated with surgical treatments for laryngeal cancer and support your patients in achieving better overall outcomes.

To read the original research paper, please follow this link: Listeners Social Perception of Speakers after Treatment for Laryngeal Cancer


Citation: Turcotte, A., Wilson, A., Harris, J., Seikaly, H., & Rieger, J. M. (2009). Listeners social perception of speakers after treatment for laryngeal cancer. Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, 33(1), 1-76.

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