Health Care: Research and Resources An investigation in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research [doi:10.1044/ 1092-4388(2010/09-0068)] provides further insight into the swallow function of patients with myopathic disease. University of New Mexico researchers evaluated oral weakness and its impact on swallow function, weight, and quality of life in patients with oculopharyngeal ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   June 01, 2011
Health Care: Research and Resources
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Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   June 01, 2011
Health Care: Research and Resources
The ASHA Leader, June 2011, Vol. 16, 20-21. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB.16062011.20
The ASHA Leader, June 2011, Vol. 16, 20-21. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB.16062011.20
Research
Swallow Characteristics in Patients With Myopathic Disease
An investigation in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research [doi:10.1044/ 1092-4388(2010/09-0068)] provides further insight into the swallow function of patients with myopathic disease.
University of New Mexico researchers evaluated oral weakness and its impact on swallow function, weight, and quality of life in patients with oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD). This investigation measured intraoral pressure, swallow pressure, and endurance using an Iowa Oral Performance Instrument in participants with OPMD and matched controls. Timed water-swallow, weight, and quality of life were also assessed.
Participants with OPMD exhibited greater oral weakness than controls. Oral weakness affected strength, swallow pressure, swallow capacity, swallow volume, swallow time, and quality of life. Tongue endurance was not affected by oral weakness.
The researchers conclude that muscle fiber loss leads to weakness, which results in reductions in swallow function and quality of life. Weight and endurance are not greatly altered.
Home Training for People With Aphasia
Supervised home training can boost the linguistic and communicative skills of individuals with aphasia, according to a study in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research [doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0204)].
Researchers in Germany investigated the efficacy of supervised self-training for individuals with aphasia using linguistic and communicative performance in structured dialogues. In a crossover design for randomized matched pairs, 18 individuals with chronic aphasia received 12 weeks of supervised home training. Intensive language training, assisted by an electronic learning device, was compared with non-linguistic training.
Results indicate robust and specific improvements in the participants’ linguistic and communicative abilities with use of the electronic learning device, but not with non-linguistic training. Transfer to general linguistic and communicative performance was limited. Individual analysis revealed significant improvements in spontaneous language and general communicative skills for 30%–50% of participants. Some individual participants also demonstrated significant improvements on standardized aphasia assessment and proxy rating of communicative effectiveness.
Hyoid Displacement and Cancer Treatment for Head and Neck
A new study in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research [doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/10-0077)] emphasizes the importance of hyoid displacement in treatment planning for patients who have received treatment for head and neck cancer (HNC). In some patients, the cause of death is not cancer, but rather food or liquid passing into the lungs. Hyoid displacement is known to be important to safe swallowing function.
Researchers measured hyoid displacement in healthy persons with normal swallowing function, HNC patients post-radiation only, and HNC patients post-surgery only. Three bolus conditions were examined; the influence of two different measurement algorithms also was explored.
The radiation-therapy patients had greater hyoid displacement than surgery patients. Bolus viscosity and measurement method significantly influenced displacement results; bolus volume did not.
These findings can be used to assist head and neck cancer treatment planning and counseling. Because hyoid measurement methods influence research conclusions, this aspect of design should be considered when interpreting research findings.
Resources
Audiology
ASHA’s webpage for audiologists working in health care settings contains links to information on topics including:
  • ASHA Practice Policy Documents for Audiologists in Health Care

  • ASHA’s Scientific Journals

  • Focused Topics

  • Coding and Reimbursement Resources

  • Evidence-Based Practice

  • Management Issues in Health Care

  • Special Interest Groups

  • Patient/Consumer Education Materials

  • Selected ASHA Products

  • Professional and Consumer Organizations

Speech-Language Pathology
ASHA’s webpage for speech-language pathologists in health care settings contains links to information including:
Management
  • Measuring Productivity: Finding the Right Quality Quotient

  • Quality Improvement for Speech-Language Pathologists

  • The Policy and Procedure Manual: Managing by the Book

  • Promoting the Unique Value of SLP Services in Health Care

  • Cultural Sensitivity in Health Care Settings

  • How Usable Are Your Health Care Services and Facilities to People With Disabilities?

  • HIPAA

  • Billing and Reimbursement

General Information
  • Medicare and SLPs in Private Practice

  • Frequently Asked Questions: SLPs in Health Care Settings

  • Reports from the ASHA SLP Health Care Survey

  • Health Care Inservice Tools

Personnel Issues
  • Attrition Survey

  • Innovative Programs to Address Personnel Vacancies in Health Care and Education

  • Recruitment and Retention of SLPs in Health Care

  • Reward Yourself With a Career in Health Care

Acute Care
  • Issue Brief

  • Getting Started in Acute Care Hospitals

  • Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals

  • NOMS National Data Reports–Acute Care

Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation
  • Issue Brief

  • Getting Started in Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation

  • NOMS National Data Reports–Inpatient Rehabilitation

Home Care
  • Issues in Home Care

Long-Term Care
  • Resources and Information

  • Subacute Care

Outpatient Clinics
  • Getting Started in Outpatient Clinics

  • NOMS National Data Reports–Outpatient

Pediatrics
  • Getting Started in Pediatrics

  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Practice Policy Documents
  • Knowledge and Skills in Business Practices Needed by Speech-Language Pathologists in Health Care Settings

  • Knowledge and Skills in Business Practices for Speech-Language Pathologists Who Are Managers and Leaders in Health Care Organizations

Related Resources
  • Joint Commission Resources for SLPs

  • American Medical Association: Eliminating Health Disparities

  • Health Literacy

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June 2011
Volume 16, Issue 6