Patients treated for laryngeal cancer are confronted daily with the effects of the operation. The choice of treatment method can have a significant impact on psychosocial adjustment. Three hundred and six out-patients who underwent surgical treatment for laryngeal cancer within the last two decades were interviewed in their own homes using the structured clinical interview for DSM-IV (SCID).Psychiatric disorders were diagnosed among 17.3% of the partial laryngectomy patients (PL) and 22.2% of the patients with total laryngectomy (LE). In comparing four variables (age, time elapsed since diagnosis, gender and subjective speech intelligibility), subjective speech intelligibility and age were the variables with a unique, significant effect on the frequency of psychiatric disorders, albeit only in the case of PL patients. The need for psychosocial rehabilitation for patients with partial laryngectomy tends to be underestimated. It is concluded that screening for psychological variables and subjective speech intelligibility can be beneficial for the identification of out-patients lacking appropriate treatment.