The aim of the study was the analysis of drinking behaviour in laryngectomized patients and its concomitants in quality of life and mental health.
Multi-centered cross-sectional study.
225 laryngectomized patients were asked to participate in the study. 179 patients (80%) were interviewed after laryngectomy at six different ENT clinics in Germany.
“Questionnaire of Health Behaviour” (FEG), “Short Questionnaire of Alcohol Risk” (KFA), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Hornheider Questionnaire (HFB), Visual Analogue Scales (VAS) and the Quality of Life Questionnaires of the EORTC (EORTC QLQ-C30, EORTC QLQ-H & N35).
Alcohol dependence was found in 7% of the patients. Half of the respondents showed a constant consumption of alcohol with 6% of the patients who wanted to change their consumption. Patients with alcohol dependence indicated in comparison with non-dependent persons increased anxiety (p=0.03), problems in coping with illness (p=0.03), increased psychosocial care needs (p=0.02), fatigue (p=0.04), shortness of breath (p=0.04), diarrhea (p=0.02) and a worse emotional functioning level (p=0.03). Alcohol intake was independent of tumor stage (p=0.48), employment status (p=0.54), social class (p=0.82), the time interval since laryngectomy (p=0.64), and type of voice substitute (p=0.76). The quality of life and mental state were independent of the amount of alcohol consumed.
The results show that alcohol dependence is associated with adverse psychosocial and medical consequences, which require treatment. Socio-demographic and medical parameters do not allow any conclusions to alcoholism risk. Therefore, an individual exploration of the patients′ drinking behaviour is needed which could prepare the ground to specific treatment.
Request Reprint E-Mail: Helge.Danker@medizin.uni-leipzig.de