A Preview of Possibilities for EMST & Drooling from Parkinson’s

As a kid, we start to form our creative and curious imaginations when we begin to use a common object (e.g. toy hammer) as a completely different and novel function from its intended purpose (e.g. using a hammer as a cane). Thinking along these lines of creativity, the authors did just this for an innovative study that questions if a very well known exercise program/device that’s confirmed to improve various swallowing safety deficits can also be used to subsequently improve a different impairment for a very needed population. Get ready to get your imagination thinking caps on for this one folks, because from clinicians who work closely with this population to those who aren’t as familiar, I’m sure everyone’s mind will be bursting with the possibilities by the end!🤯

How we CARE: Quantifying caregivers’ dysphagia-related experiences

Yes, we absolutely need our patients to be able to complete certain exercises for improvement, follow certain strategies, or be informed about various risks, recommendations, and rationales. But who’s gonna be there after we leave when our session is done?🤔😬 How can we identify what caregivers need from us in order to help them?😓That’s just what this ground-breaking study looks to find out for us!🤓

Move over Presbyphagia, there’s a new sarcopenic dysphagia in town

Besides the obvious “What is sarcopenia?” question, literally the very first thoughts I had (and you might have) before reading were:
“Is there a difference between sarcopenic dysphagia and presbyphagia?” 
“How are they different, how can you tell?”
Turns out, there is and that’s what the authors are finding out!🤯 This article’s purpose was an attempt to look at how common sarcopenic dysphagia is and what the prognosis would be for those identified who have it and will leave you curious to learn more!🤓

Through Thick or Thin: To cough or not to cough…That is the silent question

Resident Susie is coughing at the table😳
The nurse saw patient John Doe cough when drinking water with his pills😦

Home health Harry’s spouse says he sometimes coughs when he drinks😲

Outpatient Oscar is here because he “didn’t cough with thickened liquids” in the hospital, but he can’t stand them and is determined to “get off that stuff”😬

🚨Are your alarm bell sirens loudly ringing in your head just reading these statements?🚨

Well my SLP friends, luckily there is research that can help dampen those bells and let us breathe a bit instead of entering automatic panic mode!

In case you haven’t heard yet, this one is A KEEPER. One to be stashed, referenced, quoted, discussed, shared, and the one that likely changed the game by changing LOTS of clinical practices when it comes to testing and recommending thickened liquids at the bedside.

Reviewing what happens when we don’t tip-toe around the risk

Do you ever feel like you’re one person trying to make massive improvements and constant changes? Maybe it’s felt like you’re Tom Hanks in Castaway or even Moana attempting to sail against the rippling currents that push you back every time🌊🌊. Yet your strong sail efforts continue to forge ahead for the good of either your sanity or your ‘tribe’ (of patients).

This recent review looks at how we can not only be an individual clinician who is part of a medical decision-making team, but also if and how having a systematic effort might be effective for patients during these critical and complex decisions.

A Cinderella Story of Competency for Videofluoroscopic Swallowing Studies

While I’ve found different mentors here and there throughout the years, I still always wished I would’ve had a fairy godmother SLP to turn all my curious, incompetent, and #newbie regrets into one competent, confident, and quick clinician with all the fancy skills.
Even though I’m still waiting on my magic wand I ordered from grad school to arrive, there seems to be hope for future mentors/mentees for this collaboration!
So dust off those raggedy scrubs and grab your fave ear-to-learn clinician pals so we don’t have to keep listening to the negative step-sister attitudes and become the clinician of our patients’ dreams!!🤩👸

The mistaken Masako…fact, fiction, or fantasy?

To follow up after last month’s post, we’re now exploring the evidence into the mystery behind the Masako/tongue-hold maneuver🧐. With so many questions piling up even before I started on my quest and after the process of eliminating irrelevant or unrelated results with all the resources used before, I was left with only a handful of studies to dig deeper into as I set out to find any answers I could in order to clear up and clean out anything in my swallow toolbox that was fiction or fantasy. . . .

A clinician’s review on reviewing the research❤️

It’s been one wild ride since this whole thing started at SLP R&R!🤪 A year ago, I was fortunate to have a great Guest Post from Rebecca Brown from ASHA’s National Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Communication Disorders who shared some incredible Resources for clinicians to get organized and more familiar with the process of evidence-based practice for our patients. I’ve since used these Resources each for their own separate purpose at different times. Now I want to share my experience with this process and the insights I’ve had along the way. Since there won’t be any statistic-jargon or in-depth analysis to discuss, feel free to sit back and enjoy a clinician’s review of reviewing the research!😃

Can we nourish the swallow in acute care?

It’s the age-old story of what came first: the chicken or the egg? We’ve thought about the quandary between aspiration and dysphagia in a similar way as well, and just like everyone else we’ve come to similar conclusions when trying to answer this famous riddle.

Now, it’s nutrition’s turn to enter into the mix.

Does dysphagia increase the risk for malnutrition? Or, is it truly the other way around?

Whether you’ve either got the registered dietician’s number on your speech cell speed dial or click that box for a consult as frequently as you sip your coffee, even if we are separate entities we also have a close, special relationship that I think no one else truly gets😅.
This article seems to be an interesting grab at diving deeper into the above adage and at the very least can give us insight into how to think about and manage this complex and intertwined relationship.

Your hip bone’s connected to your…..Swallow??

We never talked about that in Anatomy!!?! You don’t even have to know the whole song to be able to understand that these two areas are nowhere near each other, let alone physically connected. So, why are we talking about it?? I was introduced to this article during an amazing continuing education course centered around the aging adult with all the myriad of issues and sticky complications, so after hearing that we might finally get an invite to the exclusive PT/OT party, I was in!🥳