A new custom moldable external neck brace (ENB 2.0) to improve hands-free speech in laryngectomized patients

Richard Dirven*, Jonathan R. Clark, Joris G. F. Wismans, John McGuiness, Carsten E. Palme, Katrina Blyth, Candice Baxter, Danielle B. Stone, Henri A M Marres

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives/Hypothesis The majority of laryngectomy patients fail to use a hands-free valve on a daily basis, mainly due to fixation problems of the adhesive baseplate housing. To support adhesive housings during hands-free speech a new external neck brace (ENB 2.0) was developed. The effect of the brace was assessed in terms of a qualitative assessment, adhesive lifetime, maximum phonation time and patient self-reports. Study Design Twenty laryngectomees participated in this randomized, prospective, crossover trial. Methods All participants used the Provox hands-free HME valve with an Xtrabase adhesive for 1 month, 2 weeks with an ENB 2.0, and 2 weeks without. Outcomes were compared with the previous model of the external neck brace (ENB 1.0). Results The average total number of adhesive baseplates used during the trial was 16.7 in the non-brace group versus 10.9 in the brace group (P = 0.05). The number of daily replacements was 1.4 in the non-brace group and 1.1 in the brace group (P = 0.025). The average time a hands-free valve was worn per baseplate was 9.5 hours when wearing a neck brace versus 7.3 hours without brace (P = 0.09).The majority (81%) of the patients considered the neck brace 2.0 as a welcome addition to improve hands-free speech after laryngectomy and would use it if prescribed (88%). Conclusion The new model of the neck brace reduces the number of baseplate replacements during hands-free speech and is considered as a helpful device by 81% of the participants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2209-2215
Number of pages7
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • adhesive lifetime
  • custom moldable
  • External neck brace
  • hands-free speech
  • hands-free valve
  • total laryngectomy
  • tracheoesophageal speech


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