Application of Manual Therapy for Dysphagia in Head and Neck Cancer Patients: A Preliminary National Survey of Treatment Trends and Adverse Events.
ABSTRACT: Background:Radiation-associated dysphagia is a common and debilitating consequence of treatment for head and neck cancer (HNC). Since commonly employed dysphagia therapy programs for HNC patients still lack authoritative efficacy, some speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have started employing manual therapy (MT) techniques in an attempt to prevent or rehabilitate dysphagia in this patient population. However, exceptionally little is known about the use of MT in this patient population. Objectives:The purpose of this study was to describe practice patterns as well as the rate, type, and severity of adverse events associated with SLP provision of MT to HNC patients. Methods:An Internet-based questionnaire geared toward SLPs who practice MT was developed and sent to SLPs practicing in the United States, 3 times, through 3 national listservs (American Speech Language Hearing Association [ASHA] Special Interest Division 13, ASHA Special Interest Division 3, and University of Iowa Voiceserv), over the course of 4 weeks. Results:Of the 255 respondents, 116 (45.5%) performed MT on HNC patients. Of these 116 SLPs, 27.6% provided proactive MT during radiation, 62.1% provided 1 to 2 sessions per week, and 94.8% prescribed a MT home program. The rate, type, and severity of reported adverse events were similar between HNC and non-HNC patients. Conclusion:This preliminary survey demonstrated that SLPs provide MT to HNC patients during and after cancer treatment, and that reported adverse events paralleled those experienced by noncancer patients. However, these results should be taken with caution, and a well-designed prospective study is needed to formally establish the safety and the preliminary efficacy of this novel clinical intervention.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>The aim of this study was to determine the evaluation and management of dysphagia in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients by speech-language pathologists (SLPs).<h4>Methods</h4>A 15-question web-based survey sent to SLPs in general clinical practice.<h4>Results</h4>Forty-nine SLPs responded. Although only 8 (17.0%) of the SLPs worked in ALS clinics, 46 (93.9%) had worked with ALS patients. A variety of dysphagia evaluation protocols were used by 43 (97.7%) SLPs. Most SLPs, 40 (88.9%), recommended instrumental assessments, but timing and indication varied greatly: 19 (42.2%) SLPs recommended this at baseline even without bulbar symptoms, whereas others recommended this based on symptoms and/or clinical assessments.<h4>Conclusions</h4>There is currently no uniform approach as to the indication, timing, and specific methods to use in the evaluation of dysphagia in ALS patients among SLPs. There is need for further research to assist in the development of definitive guideline recommendations for this population.
Project description:Hyperkinetic dysarthria is characterized by abnormal involuntary movements affecting respiratory, phonatory, and articulatory structures impacting speech and deglutition. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) play an important role in the evaluation and management of dysarthria and dysphagia. This review describes the standard clinical evaluation and treatment approaches by SLPs for addressing impaired speech and deglutition in specific hyperkinetic dysarthria populations.A literature review was conducted using the data sources of PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar. Search terms included 1) hyperkinetic dysarthria, essential voice tremor, voice tremor, vocal tremor, spasmodic dysphonia, spastic dysphonia, oromandibular dystonia, Meige syndrome, orofacial, cervical dystonia, dystonia, dyskinesia, chorea, Huntington's Disease, myoclonus; and evaluation/treatment terms: 2) Speech-Language Pathology, Speech Pathology, Evaluation, Assessment, Dysphagia, Swallowing, Treatment, Management, and diagnosis.The standard SLP clinical speech and swallowing evaluation of chorea/Huntington's disease, myoclonus, focal and segmental dystonia, and essential vocal tremor typically includes 1) case history; 2) examination of the tone, symmetry, and sensorimotor function of the speech structures during non-speech, speech and swallowing relevant activities (i.e., cranial nerve assessment); 3) evaluation of speech characteristics; and 4) patient self-report of the impact of their disorder on activities of daily living. SLP management of individuals with hyperkinetic dysarthria includes behavioral and compensatory strategies for addressing compromised speech and intelligibility. Swallowing disorders are managed based on individual symptoms and the underlying pathophysiology determined during evaluation.SLPs play an important role in contributing to the differential diagnosis and management of impaired speech and deglutition associated with hyperkinetic disorders.
Project description:Purpose:This case series details the clinical progression of patients with primary progressive apraxia of speech (PPAOS) to illustrate, using several methods and supplemental material examples, the changes that occur in speech and language functioning in this patient population. Method:Four patients who presented with PPAOS were followed between 5 and 6 years. Two patients had predominant articulatory abnormalities (termed phonetic PPAOS), 1 had predominant prosodic abnormalities (prosodic PPAOS), and 1 had relatively equal articulatory and prosodic abnormalities (mixed PPAOS). Detailed speech (including acoustics), language, neurologic, and neuropsychological data were collected. Results:At initial exam, the patients ranged from 60 to 77 years old, with presenting disease duration of 1.5-10 years. Although all patients presented with an isolated apraxia of speech, all developed varying degrees of aphasia and dysarthria. Patients with phonetic PPAOS developed relatively more severe aphasia than the other 2 patients. All patients eventually had severe functional communication limitations and required alternative or augmentative means of communication, although at varying times postonset of their initial speech problem. Two patients developed dysphagia, 3 showed mild-moderate Parkinsonism, and 2 developed depression. For all patients, simple temporal acoustic measurements documented slowed speech rate over time. Conclusions:This case series demonstrates that patients who initially present with PPAOS may develop aphasia and dysarthria, cognitive and behavioral changes, and other neurologic signs. Whether these changes can be predicted by the perceptual characteristics of the apraxia of speech is yet to be determined. The detailed longitudinal profiles provide valuable clinical insight into the progression of disease in people with PPAOS. Supplemental Material:https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.7051616.
Project description:Dysphagia is a common side effect following chemoradiation therapy (CRT) in head and neck cancer (HNC) patients. Current dysphagia management includes swallowing therapy and dilation procedures, but these treatments have limitations. While acupuncture has been reported to positively impact swallowing function and quality of life (QOL) in patients with dysphagia, current evidence is inconclusive.In an ongoing trial, 42 squamous cell carcinoma HNC patients, who are receiving platinum-based CRT with curative intent, are being recruited from a comprehensive cancer center. They are randomized to 12 sessions of either active acupuncture or to sham acupuncture during and following CRT over a 24-week period. Blinded research staff assesses outcomes at baseline, 20 weeks post-CRT (end of acupuncture), and 12 months after baseline (6-month follow-up). The primary outcome is change in M.D. Anderson Dysphagia Inventory score from baseline to 12 months. Secondary outcomes include QOL measures pertaining to HNC patients. In addition, a subset of study patients are tested for salivary flow rates and cytokines, including plasma transforming growth factor-?1 and interleukin 6 (n=10 per arm), to preliminarily explore the biological mechanisms of acupuncture for dysphagia.This paper addresses unique challenges related to study design in nonpharmacological, sham-controlled acupuncture trials including development of evidence-based credible verum and sham treatment protocols, blinding, and assuring fidelity of treatment. Results of this study will inform the feasibility of conducting a large scale trial and will provide preliminary evidence regarding the value of acupuncture for dysphagia in HNC patients.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Radiation-induced dysphagia is common in patients with head and neck cancer (HNC). Available evidence suggests that exercise therapy prior to oncological treatment could potentially improve deglutition and quality of life; however, a randomized clinical trial is needed to confirm this observation. METHODS/DESIGN:The Redyor study is a single-blind randomized clinical trial designed to compare the effect of prophylactic oropharyngeal exercises on quality of life and dysphagia of 52 patients with HNC referred to the Radiotherapy Department. The intervention will consist of respiratory muscle training (3 times/day, 5?days/week, 21?weeks) added to the standard swallow therapy. All patients will perform the same exercise intervention, but at different times: before chemoradiotherapy (CRT; early intervention group) or immediately after completing CRT (late intervention group). The main outcome will be change in dysphagia severity assessed with the Penetration-Aspiration Scale in videofluoroscopy study; quality of life will be assessed with the EORTC-QLQ-C30 and its Head and Neck Cancer Module (QLQ-H&N35) at 3, 6, and 12?months after completing CRT. DISCUSSION:This ongoing clinical trial, registered in 2016, is based on the hypothesis that undergoing a pre-radiotherapy rehabilitation (pre-habilitation) program will have greater benefits (less decrease in quality of life, less delay in swallowing parameters, and less severe dysphagia) compared to post-CRT rehabilitation. The main objective is to assess dysphagia severity in HNC patients; and secondly, to evaluate changes in dysphagia-related quality of life, and to determine the correlation between a clinical variable and instrumental parameters during this period. TRIAL REGISTRATION:NCT0209009911 .
Project description:Background and purpose:Dysphagia is a common, severe and dose-limiting toxicity after oncological treatment of head and neck cancer (HNC). This study aims to investigate relationships between radiation doses to structures involved in normal swallowing and patient-reported as well as clinically measured swallowing function in HNC patients after curative (chemo-) radiation therapy (RT) with focus on late effects. Materials and methods:Patients (n?=?90) with HNC curatively treated with RT?±?chemotherapy in 2007-2015 were assessed for dysphagia post-treatment by telephone interview and videofluoroscopy (VFS). A study-specific symptom score was used to determine patient-reported dysphagia. The Penetration-Aspiration Scale (PAS) was applied to determine swallowing function by VFS (PAS???4/???6?=?moderate/severe dysphagia). Thirteen anatomical structures involved in normal swallowing were individually delineated on the patients' original planning CT scans and associated dose-volume histograms (DVHs) retrieved. Relationships between structure doses and late toxicity were investigated through univariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis (UVA/MVA) accounting for effects by relevant clinical factors. Results:Median assessment time was 7?months post-RT (range: 5-34?months). Mean dose to the contralateral parotid gland and supraglottic larynx as well as maximum dose to the contralateral anterior digastric muscle predicted patient-reported dysphagia (AUC?=?0.64-0.67). Mean dose to the pharyngeal constrictor muscle, the larynx, the supraglottic larynx and the epiglottis, as well as maximum dose to the contralateral submandibular gland predicted moderate and severe dysphagia by VFS (AUC?=?0.71-0.80). Conclusion:The patients in this cohort were consecutively identified pre-treatment, and were structurally approached and assessed for dysphagia after treatment at a specific time point. In addition to established dysphagia organs-at-risk (OARs), our data suggest that epiglottic and submandibular gland doses are important for swallowing function post-RT. Keeping DVH thresholds below V60?=?60% and V60?=?17%, respectively, may increase chances to reduce occurrence of severe late dysphagia. The results need to be externally validated in future studies.
Project description:<h4>Importance</h4>Head and neck cancer (HNC) and its treatment may negatively alter neurocognitive and speech functioning. However, the prevalence of neurocognitive impairment among patients with HNC before treatment is poorly studied, and the association between neurocognitive and speech functioning is unknown, which hampers good interpretability of the effect of HNC treatment on neurocognitive and speech function.<h4>Objectives</h4>To document neurocognitive functioning in patients with HNC before treatment and to investigate the association between neurocognitive and speech functioning.<h4>Design, setting, and participants</h4>Prospective cohort study of newly diagnosed patients with HNC before treatment using a large sample obtained in a nationwide, multicenter setting (Netherlands Quality of Life and Biomedical Cohort Study in Head and Neck Cancer [NET-QUBIC] project).<h4>Main outcome and measures</h4>Objective neuropsychological measures of delayed recall, letter fluency, and executive functioning, as well as patient-reported outcome measures on neurocognitive speech and functioning, were collected before treatment.<h4>Results</h4>In total, 254 patients with HNC participated (71.7% male), with a mean (SD) age of 62 (10) years. The response rate ranged from 81.9% (208 of 254) to 84.6% (215 of 254). Objective neurocognitive measures indicated that 4.7% (10 of 212) to 15.0% (32 of 214) of patients were initially seen with moderate to severe cognitive impairment. Mild to moderate impairment was found in 12.3% (26 of 212) to 26.2% (56 of 214) of patients. The most altered domains were delayed recall and letter fluency. Seven percent (15 of 208) of the patients reported high levels of everyday neurocognitive failure, and 42.6% (89 of 209) reported speech problems. Objective neurocognitive function was not significantly associated with patient-reported neurocognitive or speech functioning, but the results from patient-reported outcome measures were significantly correlated.<h4>Conclusions and relevance</h4>Results of this study demonstrate a high prevalence of impaired speech functioning among patients with HNC before treatment, which is in line with previous findings. A novel finding is that neurocognitive impairment is also highly prevalent as objectively measured and as self-perceived. Understanding the reason why patients with HNC are initially seen with neurocognitive impairment before the start of treatment is important because this impairment may complicate patient-clinician interaction and alter treatment adherence and because treatment itself may further worsen cognitive functioning. In addition, low self-perceived neurocognitive and speech functioning before treatment may decrease a patient's confidence in communicative participation and perceived quality of life. Disentangling the associations between objective and patient-reported neurocognitive and speech functions is an important area for future research.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:This study examined knowledge and practices of speech pathologists (SPs) and radiation therapists (RTs) regarding plan optimisation for head and neck cancer (HNC) patients, and the potential impacts on swallowing function. The secondary aim was to explore the level of interaction occurring between these professional groups within cancer centres. METHODS:Two electronic surveys, with matched questions for SPs and RTs, explored: service/institutional demographics; clinician awareness, practices regarding plan optimisation to swallowing structures and; relationships and interactions between SPs and RTs in the management of HNC patients. Participant recruitment occurred through specialist professional networks with additional snowball sampling. Data were analysed with descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. RESULTS:A total of 32 SPs and 41 RTs completed surveys. All SPs and 50% of RTs were aware of dose-dysphagia relationships, though SPs rarely used dosimetric information to inform patient management. Only 33% of RTs indicated that their centres actively constrain dose to swallowing structures, reporting that staffing skill mixtures and lack of prescription by the treating RO were restrictive factors. Both SPs and RTs acknowledged the importance of collaborating with colleagues (SPs/RTs) and felt they could assist their colleagues in devising patient management plans, though current collaboration/interaction was minimal. CONCLUSIONS:Levels of awareness were found to be higher in SP group. Despite high levels of awareness, limited use of swallowing structure dose constraints and hence dosimetric information specific to swallowing was rarely used to optimise/guide multidisciplinary HNC acute care. Opportunities for enhanced collaboration between SPs and RTs should be considered.
Project description:The goals of this study were (1) to determine early intervention (EI) Speech-Language Pathologists' (SLPs) level of training and knowledge on environmental toxicants and their effect on infant and child development; and (2) to examine the effectiveness of a continuing education (CE) event designed to enhance the knowledge of EI SLPs on environmental toxicants and their effects on child development.A survey was launched via Qualtrics and posted on the American Speech-Language Hearing Association's Early Intervention Community page to assess environmental health knowledge of SLPs. Results from this survey were used to create an environmental health CE event targeted towards EI SLPs. Attendees were given a pre- and post-test to assess the effectiveness of our program.One hundred and fifty-eight participants completed the online survey and a majority (61%, n?=?97) of participants reported some level of dissatisfaction with their previous training in regards to environmental exposures. Fifty-six percent (n?=?89) of the participants also reported feeling unprepared to be a health advocate regarding environmental exposure concerns within their community. Forty-eight people (26 SLPs and 22 SLP master's students) attended the CE event. Paired t-tests revealed significant improvements from the pre- to the post- test results among all attendees.These findings suggest that SLPs who work in EI feel undertrained and unprepared to advocate for environmental health to the families they serve. This study reveals that CE is one way by which to increase the knowledge base of SLPs on environmental health.