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1.
Am J Speech Lang Pathol ; 30(2): 532-550, 2021 03 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545666

ABSTRACT

Purpose Our aim was to critically review recent literature on the use of telehealth for dysphagia during the COVID-19 pandemic and enhance this information in order to provide evidence- and practice-based clinical guidance during and after the pandemic. Method We conducted a rapid systematized review to identify telehealth adaptations during COVID-19, according to peer-reviewed articles published from January to August 2020. Of the 40 articles identified, 11 met the inclusion criteria. Full-text reviews were completed by three raters, followed by qualitative synthesis of the results and description of practical recommendations for the use of telehealth for dysphagia. Results Seven articles were guidelines articles, three were editorials, and one was a narrative review. One article focused on telehealth and dysphagia during COVID-19. The remaining 10 mentioned telehealth in varying degrees while focusing on dysphagia management during the pandemic. No articles discussed pediatrics in depth. The most common procedure for which telehealth was recommended was the clinical swallowing assessment (8/11), followed by therapy (7/11). Six articles characterized telehealth as a second-tier service delivery option. Only one article included brief guidance on telehealth-specific factors, such as legal safeguards, safety, privacy, infrastructure, and facilitators. Conclusions Literature published during the pandemic on telehealth for dysphagia is extremely limited and guarded in endorsing telehealth as an equivalent service delivery model. We have presented prepandemic and emerging current evidence for the safety and reliability of dysphagia telemanagement, in combination with practical guidelines to facilitate the safe adoption of telehealth during and after the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Deglutition Disorders/therapy , Speech-Language Pathology/methods , Telemedicine/methods , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child, Preschool , Deglutition Disorders/diagnosis , Deglutition Disorders/rehabilitation , Humans , Pandemics , Pediatrics/methods , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Am J Speech Lang Pathol ; 30(2): 598-608, 2021 Mar 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545664

ABSTRACT

Purpose The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically increased the use of telehealth. Prior studies of telehealth clinical swallowing evaluations provide positive evidence for telemanagement of swallowing. However, the reliability of these measures in clinical practice, as opposed to well-controlled research conditions, remains unknown. This study aimed to investigate the reliability of outcome measures derived from clinical swallowing tele-evaluations in real-world clinical practice (e.g., variability in devices and Internet connectivity, lack of in-person clinician assistance, or remote patient/caregiver training). Method Seven raters asynchronously judged clinical swallowing tele-evaluations of 12 movement disorders patients. Outcomes included the Timed Water Swallow Test (TWST), Test of Masticating and Swallowing Solids (TOMASS), and common observations of oral intake. Statistical analyses were performed to examine inter- and intrarater reliability, as well as qualitative analyses exploring patient and clinician-specific factors impacting reliability. Results Forty-four trials were included for reliability analyses. All rater dyads demonstrated "good" to "excellent" interrater reliability for measures of the TWST (intraclass correlation coefficients [ICCs] ≥ .93) and observations of oral intake (≥ 77% agreement). The majority of TOMASS outcomes demonstrated "good" to "excellent" interrater reliability (ICCs ≥ .84), with the exception of the number of bites (ICCs = .43-.99) and swallows (ICCs = .21-.85). Immediate and delayed intrarater reliability were "excellent" for most raters across all tasks, ranging between ICCs of .63 and 1.00. Exploratory factors potentially impacting reliability included infrequent instances of suboptimal video quality, reduced camera stability, camera distance, and obstruction of the patient's mouth during tasks. Conclusions Subjective observations of oral intake and objective measures taken from the TWST and the TOMASS can be reliably measured via telehealth in clinical practice. Our results provide support for the feasibility and reliability of telehealth for outpatient clinical swallowing evaluations during COVID-19 and beyond. Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.13661378.


Subject(s)
Deglutition Disorders/therapy , Deglutition/physiology , Speech-Language Pathology/methods , Telemedicine/methods , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Deglutition Disorders/etiology , Female , Humans , Lewy Body Disease/complications , Male , Middle Aged , Multiple System Atrophy/complications , Pandemics , Parkinson Disease/complications , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/standards
3.
J Speech Lang Hear Res ; 63(10): 3293-3310, 2020 10 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-982521

ABSTRACT

Purpose Surface electromyography (sEMG) is often used for biofeedback during swallowing rehabilitation. However, commercially available sEMG electrodes are not optimized for the head and neck area, have rigid form, and are mostly available in large medical centers. We developed an ultrathin, soft, and flexible sEMG patch, specifically designed to conform to the submental anatomy and which will be ultimately incorporated into a telehealth system. To validate this first-generation sEMG patch, we compared its safety, efficiency, and signal quality in monitoring submental muscle activity with that of widely used conventional sEMG electrodes. Method A randomized crossover design was used to compare the experimental sEMG patch with conventional (snap-on) sEMG electrodes. Participants completed the same experimental protocol with both electrodes in counterbalanced order. Swallow trials included five trials of 5- and 10-ml water. Comparisons were made on (a) signal-related factors: signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), baseline amplitude, normalized mean amplitude, and sEMG burst duration and (b) safety/preclinical factors: safety/adverse effects, efficiency of electrode placement, and satisfaction/comfort. Noninferiority and equivalence tests were used to examine signal-related factors. Paired t tests and descriptive statistics were used to examine safety/preclinical factors. Results Forty healthy adults participated (24 women, M age = 67.5 years). Signal-related factors: SNR of the experimental patch was not inferior to the SNR of the conventional electrodes (p < .0056). Similarly, baseline amplitude obtained with the experimental patch was not inferior to that obtained with conventional electrodes (p < .0001). Finally, normalized amplitude values were equivalent across swallows (5 ml: p < .025; 10 ml: p < .0012), and sEMG burst duration was also equivalent (5 ml: p < .0001; 10 ml: p < .0001). Safety/preclinical factors: The experimental patch resulted in fewer mild adverse effects. Participant satisfaction was higher with the experimental patch (p = .0476, d = 0.226). Conclusions Our new wearable sEMG patch is equivalent with widely used conventional sEMG electrodes in terms of technical performance. In addition, our patch is safe, and healthy older adults are satisfied with it. With lessons learned from the current COVID-19 pandemic, efforts to develop optimal swallowing telerehabilitation devices are more urgent than ever. Upon further validation, this new technology has the potential to improve rehabilitation and telerehabilitation efforts for patients with dysphagia. Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.12915509.


Subject(s)
Deglutition Disorders/rehabilitation , Electrodes , Electromyography/instrumentation , Telerehabilitation/instrumentation , Wearable Electronic Devices , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections , Cross-Over Studies , Deglutition/physiology , Electromyography/methods , Equipment Design , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Dysphagia ; 36(2): 170-182, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-639039

ABSTRACT

At the time of writing this paper, there are over 11 million reported cases of COVID-19 worldwide. Health professionals involved in dysphagia care are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in their day-to-day practices. Otolaryngologists, gastroenterologists, rehabilitation specialists, and speech-language pathologists are subject to virus exposure due to their proximity to the aerodigestive tract and reliance on aerosol-generating procedures in swallow assessments and interventions. Across the globe, professional societies and specialty associations are issuing recommendations about which procedures to use, when to use them, and how to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission during their use. Balancing safety for self, patients, and the public while maintaining adequate evidence-based dysphagia practices has become a significant challenge. This paper provides current evidence on COVID-19 transmission during commonly used dysphagia practices and provides recommendations for protection while conducting these procedures. The paper summarizes current understanding of dysphagia in patients with COVID-19 and draws on evidence for dysphagia interventions that can be provided without in-person consults and close proximity procedures including dysphagia screening and telehealth.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Deglutition Disorders/therapy , Infection Control/organization & administration , Telemedicine/organization & administration , COVID-19/transmission , Humans
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