Kerstin Breitenstein

HELIOS Klinikum Erfurt, Erfurt, Thuringia, Germany

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Publications (4)8.48 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: A total laryngectomy (TLE) leads to a variety of functional restrictions, which reduce the quality of life of cancer patients as well as their spouses. However, to date, there is little research focusing on the psychological distress of spouses of total laryngectomised cancer patients. The current study assesses psychological distress, need for psycho-oncological treatment and use of professional psychological care among spouses of total laryngectomised cancer patients. Methods: A prospective multi-centre cohort study was conducted. Participants were interviewed in person 1, 2 and 3 years subsequent to their spouses' TLE with standardised questionnaires (HADS, Hornheide Screening) and self-designed items. Results: One year after their partners' TLE, 154 spouses were interviewed. Over half of spouses (57 %) reported a high level of psychological distress and 33 % reported restlessness. Majority of spouses (21 %) reported wanting to learn relaxation methods and eight (5 %) had received psychological treatment in the past. Sixty-two spouses took part in the complete study. Over all three time points, psychological distress, the need for psycho-oncological support and the use of professional support among spouses remained stable. The need for additional professional counselling was low. Conclusions: In view of the stability of psychological distress among half of the spouses within 3 years after TLE and their refusal of professional support, there is a need for the development and evaluation of new treatment strategies to help spouses cope with psychological distress. Our results indicated the most common additional professional need was learning relaxation methods, which may be used as a starting point for the investigation of new coping strategies in future studies.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Supportive Care Cancer
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    ABSTRACT: Gaining a new voice is one of the major aims after total laryngectomy. The objective of this study was to describe the process and results of speech rehabilitation during the first year after surgery. Speech intelligibility was measured 6 months (n = 273) and 1 year (n = 225) after total laryngectomy. Objective (23.4 to 47.5 points, p < .0001) and subjective (51.6 to 64.7 points, p < .0001) speech intelligibility improved between 6 months and 1 year after total laryngectomy. Patients who used tracheoesophageal puncture (TEP) had the best results in speech intelligibility 6 months and 1 year after total laryngectomy. In all, 12% of the patients who used TEP initially no longer used it 1 year later. Patients who had received rehabilitation had better objective speech intelligibility than those who did not. Speech improves considerably between 6 months and 1 year after total laryngectomy. Nonattendance of rehabilitation is associated with a worse functional outcome in speech rehabilitation. Head Neck, 35: 1583–1590, 2013
    No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Head & Neck
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    ABSTRACT: Background: It has often been argued that if patients' success with speech rehabilitation after laryngectomy is limited, it is the result of lacking motivation on their part. This project investigated the role of motivation in speech rehabilitation. Methods: In a multicenter prospective cohort study, 141 laryngectomees were interviewed at the beginning of rehabilitation and 1 year after laryngectomy. Speech intelligibility was measured with a standardized test, and patients self-assessed their own motivation shortly after the surgery. Logistic regression, adjusted for several theory-based confounding factors, was used to assess the impact of motivation on speech intelligibility. Results: Speech intelligibility 1 year after laryngectomy was not significantly associated with the level of motivation at the beginning of rehabilitation (odds ratio [OR], 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.7-2.3; p = .43) after adjusting for the effect of potential confounders (implantation of a voice prosthesis, patient's cognitive abilities, frustration tolerance, physical functioning, and type of rehabilitation). Conclusions: Motivation is not a strong predictor of speech intelligibility 1 year after laryngectomy.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Head & Neck
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Aim of this study was to find out how many patients after a total laryngectomy (TLE) return to work successfully and what factors support vocational rehabilitation. Patients and methods: Laryngectomees (n=231) aged up to 60 years completed questionnaires and structured interviews before TLE (t1), before rehabilitation (t2), at the end of rehabilitation (t3), 1 year after TLE (t4), 2 years after TLE (t5), and 3 years after TLE (t6). Results: Prior to TLE, 38% of all respondents were employed, 34% were unemployed, 23% received disability-related and 3% age-related pension retirement. One year after TLE, 13% were employed, 15% 2 years and 14% 3 years after TLE. Unemployed were 10% (t4), 5% (t5), and 7% (t6) of the patients. For 59% of all respondents it was very important to have a job. Predictors of successful vocational rehabilitation were employment prior to TLE, age <50 years, being self-employed or clerical employee, good physical functioning, good speech intelligibility, high motivation to go back to work, and support from colleagues. Conclusion: Only few laryngectomees return to work. However, even before TLE only a third of the patients was employed, another third was unemployed. Most of the patients receive pension retirement after TLE. As return to work is important for many patients, patient consultations should consider possibilities to support vocational rehabilitation before offering to apply for retirement.
    No preview · Article · May 2013 · Laryngo-Rhino-Otologie