It’s getting intense! Part 1 – Intensive Dysphagia Rehabilitation (IDR)

Sometimes when people describe things as “intense,” one of two emotions emerge for me:

Either intriguing curiosity if I am capable of being a triumphant Rocky🤔, or scared out of my mind that the intensity will be too much to handle and all my efforts won’t be enough (never again P90X😫)

However, if there is something I am capable of completing that also ensures pretty good results because of its tested and true foundation, then I’d probably be cutting my way to the front of the line to sign up. The authors share their innovative approach with methods that’ll surely make even your saliva sweat!😄

So buckle up, because it’s about to get INTENSE up in here!!😎

Phew!😓 Intensifying Approaches for Dysphagia Management

Summer’s officially here and it’s time to heat things up! This 3-part series looks at recent works related to intensive dysphagia rehabilitation approaches. This post will give a general overview of not 1…not 2… but all 3 applications, with the additional parts to follow that dive deeper into the literature of each in order to push the intensity throttle to the max!🌡
Get ready to break a (mind) sweat😅 as we start the warm-up…

A Clinician’s Reflection on Research and Learning

Sharing every review, interview, and resource that has been added here has been a way to lay out what my journey has been like thus far. So I figured this Better-Speech-Hearing Month would be a great time to reflect and share lessons I’ve learned along the way to help those who are either beginning their journey or courageously continuing on.🥰

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!!🤩👸