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EONS Poster diplay

1773 - EONS Poster - Laryngectomized patients caregivers’ life experience: a phenomenological study


22 Oct 2018


EONS Poster diplay


Psychosocial Aspects of Cancer

Tumour Site


Valentina Bressan


Annals of Oncology (2018) 29 (suppl_8): viii689-viii693. 10.1093/annonc/mdy341


V. Bressan1, E. Dri1, S. Stevanin2, L. Cadorin3, A. Rizzuto4, G. Bulfone1, L. Ghirotto5

Author affiliations

  • 1 Department Of Medical Sciences, University of Udine, 33100 - Udine/IT
  • 2 Agency For Health And Social Care, Veneto Region, 30125 - Venice/IT
  • 3 Continuing Education Center, National Cancer Institute CRO Aviano, 33081 - Aviano/IT
  • 4 Department Of Otolaryngology/head & Neck Surgery, Udine University Hospital, 33100 - Udine/IT
  • 5 Research, Azienda Santa Maria Nuova-IRCCS, 42124 - Reggio Emilia/IT


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Abstract 1773


Laryngectomized patients often depend on their caregivers who have a central and difficult role in supporting them dealing with financial, social, and relational issues. In fact, they feel very responsible and committed, especially considering the time devoted to take care of their beloved. Besides, providing care induces caregivers high stress levels, emotional distress, anxiety and the fear of cancer recurrence or progress. Few studies investigated laryngectomized patients caregivers’ life experience during both the whole course of illness and at the end of the treatment. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to explore, through a phenomenological approach, the lived-experience of primary family caregivers of laryngectomized patients undergoing radical surgery.


Qualitative semi-structured and audiotaped interviews were held with 12 laryngectomized patients’ primary family caregivers. Data were analysed using the descriptive phenomenological approach outlined by Colaizzi.


Three key themes emerged: the caregivers lived experience of illness; the change of caregivers’ daily life and how they support their sick beloved. The experience of caregivers’ lived relations changes from being a family member to a supportive carer, and the illness of their beloved negatively affects their psychological lived experience. Their perception of time and Quality of Life change as their perception of the future becomes uncertain. Finally, they feel guilty mainly because of the limited amount of time they can devote to their beloved.


The study findings allowed to understand in depth how the presence of a laryngectomized person in the family may affect the life of the caregiver, even after the treatment phase. This suggests the need for healthcare professionals to support caregivers throughout the whole care journey and especially in dealing with the perception of time during the diagnosis and care phases. Further research should be conducted on factors contributing to time perception alteration and possible interventions to support caregivers to cope with it.

Clinical trial identification

Legal entity responsible for the study

Valentina Bressan.


Has not received any funding.

Editorial Acknowledgement


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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