Learning Objective 1: The Learner will be able to know the results of the employment status of laryngectomized patients between preoperative and 3 months after discharge.
Learning Objective 2: The Learner will be able to know the results of the change in QOL for the laryngectomized patients between preoperative and 3months after discharge.
We analyzed the role of employment status in changes in quality of life (QOL) of laryngectomized patients before surgery and 3 months after discharge.
Subjects were 174 patients undergoing a laryngectomy. We assessed basic demographics (age, employment status) and QOL by using the SF-36 v2. An ethics review committee approved the study. Unemployed subjects included individuals who retired before the surgery and those who retired because of the surgery. We used t tests for analysis.
Of the 174 subjects assessed before surgery, 91 were employed (52.3%), 76 were unemployed (43.7%), and 7 did not indicate employment (mean age: 64.7 ± 8.5 years). Of the 96 subjects assessed post-discharge, 35 were employed (36.5%), 54 were unemployed (56.3%), and 7 did not indicate employment (mean age: 64.5 ± 8.1 years). QOL was lower for both employed (PF (p = .0002), RP (p = .0001), SF (p = .0001), RE (p = .002)) and unemployed subjects after discharge (PF (p = .002), RP (p = .003), BP (p = .004), VT (p = .02), RE (p = .01)).
QOL decreased for all subjects, regardless of employment status, 3 months after discharge. Pain did not decrease, and fatigue persisted, even after the hospital discharge among unemployed subjects, which might have prevented them from maintaining their social roles. Employed subjects demonstrated reduced social function after discharge, possibly because of experiencing difficulties at work. A support system to help maintain employment should be considered in the future. Given that the percentage of unemployed subjects after discharge was rather high and social function remained low, it is also important to consider a support system for unemployed patients.