Assessing swallowing disorders online: a pilot telerehabilitation study

Sharma, Shobha, Ward, Elizabeth C., Burns, Clare, Theodoros, Deborah and Russell, Trevor (2011) Assessing swallowing disorders online: a pilot telerehabilitation study. Telemedicine and e-Health, 17 9: 688-696. doi:10.1089/tmj.2011.0034

Author Sharma, Shobha
Ward, Elizabeth C.
Burns, Clare
Theodoros, Deborah
Russell, Trevor
Title Assessing swallowing disorders online: a pilot telerehabilitation study
Journal name Telemedicine and e-Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1530-5627
Publication date 2011-11
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1089/tmj.2011.0034
Volume 17
Issue 9
Start page 688
End page 696
Total pages 9
Place of publication New Rochelle, NY, United States
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: Dysphagia (a swallowing disorder) is known to occur in numerous clinical populations, but unfortunately because of issues accessing speech pathology services, not all patients are able to receive dysphagia intervention and rehabilitation services in a timely manner. Existing research supports the use of telehealth technology for providing various aspects of speech pathology service; however, to date there is limited evidence to support the utilization of telerehabilitation in the assessment and management of dysphagia. The aim of this research was to provide pilot information on the basic feasibility and validity of conducting dysphagia assessments via telerehabilitation. Materials and Methods: Ten simulated patients, actors portraying patients with a range of swallowing difficulties, were used rather than actual patients to minimize any potential patient risk from unidentified aspiration. Dysphagia was assessed simultaneously by a face-to-face (FTF) and telerehabilitation speech pathologist (T-SP). Each simulated patient was assessed using a Clinical Swallowing Examination (CSE) protocol that was modified to suit a telerehabilitation environment. The CSE was administered with the support of an assistant via an Internet-based videoconferencing telerehabilitation system using a bandwidth of 128 kilobits per second. Results: Results revealed high to excellent levels of agreement between the T-SP and the FTF-SP across all parameters of the CSE. Agreement for aspiration risk was excellent. Conclusion: The pilot data indicate that the current model of administering a CSE via telerehabilitation has potential to be a feasible and valid method for the remote assessment of swallowing disorders.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
School of Medicine Publications
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Created: Thu, 13 Oct 2011, 11:08:39 EST by Professor Elizabeth Ward on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences