[Psychosocial problems and coping with illness by patients with defective healing after facial paralysis]

C Kiese-Himmel, R Laskawi, S Wrede
HNO 1993, 41 (5): 261-7
Twenty patients with defective healing following idiopathic or infection-induced facial paralysis (group 1) and 14 patients with defective healing after excision of an acoustic neuroma and subsequent hypoglossal-facial nerve anastomosis (group 2) were questioned as to their psychosocial conditions. The principle gueries involved the impact of facial impairment on social activities, behavior in public, professional performance and communication, as well as strategies in coping with disfigurement. One third of the patients (with a majority in group 2) experienced stigmatization and a feeling of embarrassment or anxiety in public. Many patients minimized facial expressions and communication in order to hide their paralyses. In particular, patients in group 2 frequently had to change their employment and had great problems in accepting their conditions. Additional problems had with a clinical diagnosis of "acoustic neuroma" involved greater stress and more pronounced social withdrawal than experienced by the patients with idiopathic pareses.

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