Academic journal article Journal of Medical Speech - Language Pathology

Electronic Educational Products for Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders

Academic journal article Journal of Medical Speech - Language Pathology

Electronic Educational Products for Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders

Article excerpt

This issue includes reviews of two products available to assist dysphagia clinicians as they educate patients about swallowing and swallowing disorders. The first review is of the 3D Swallow a DVD with sections explicitly developed for patients and professionals, respectively. The 3D Swallow uses animations to depict the swallowing process from changing perspectives as the bolus proceeds from the mouth through the pharynx. The DVD format makes this tool accessible without a computer and should be reasonably easy to use for anyone who has used DVDs at home. Swallowing Disorders, the subject of the second review, is an interactive CD-ROM that allows the user a great deal of flexibility in selecting the type of information to be reviewed (e.g., the normal swallow) and the presentation modality (e.g., endoscopic or fluorographic videos). The Swallowing Disorders program requires a computer, but should also be easy to use for anyone familiar with the basic point and click electronic interface.

The reviews below highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each of the programs, and should be helpful to clinicians, professors, and students considering purchasing an electronic educational product.

3D Swallow

PUBLISHER: Jeff Moulton, SLP Animation, 2005

ISBN: None, $99.00

Educational materials for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) regarding the swallowing mechanism can be classified as any one of the following broad categories: written descriptions that may be part of textbook or research material; picture representations, using two-dimensional drawings or still images taken from modified barium swallow (MBS) or fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) examinations; live or videotaped lecture material or three-dimensional models. While these materials may be adequate in demonstrating individual anatomical structures and the spatial relationships between such structures, they lack the ability to demonstrate the timing and sequences of anatomic movements that are critical to the execution of a normal swallow. The variety of educational material for patients and families who may be experiencing dysphagia is even more limited. Commercially produced brochures about dysphagia and verbal instruction provided by practicing clinicians are most likely the primary methods of disseminating such information. Access to an alternative medium for providing dysphagia education is advantageous, particularly given the limited number of products currently available. The 3D Swallow DVD is a new product that may serve to overcome the limitations discussed above. The DVD is available in two versions: a patient version and a professional version. The cost of the patient DVD is $49.99. The professional version is $99.99. However, at the time of this review, if you purchased the professional version via the Internet at www.3Dswallow.com, the patient version was free. The DVD is narrated by Jeffrey Moulton, M.S. CCC-SLP, an associate member of the Dysphagia Research Society.

The patient version is approximately 12 minutes in length. The video begins with a brief definition of dysphagia and common questions from a patient perspective, such as "Will I get better?" Mr. Moulton states that the information contained in the DVD is intended to be a general overview of common swallowing disorders and treatment techniques. He appropriately emphasizes that each patient's swallowing needs are unique and that collaboration with a SLP in development of a treatment plan is important. Throughout the DVD, key points are highlighted at the bottom of the screen, which is an effective organizational strategy. The DVD continues with a brief discussion of diet modifications. Examples of puree and thickened liquids, including nectar, honey, and pudding consistencies, are shown. However, Mr. Moulton fails to demonstrate the need for accurate measuring of commercial powdered thickeners when mixing thickened liquids, as he casually adds a nondescript spoonful of thickener to a glass. …

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