October 20

2020 ISHA Virtual Convention Recap


Last week was the annual convention for the Iowa Speech Language Hearing Association. In case you missed it, I thought I would highlight some of the things I learned!

First with head and neck cancer, the motto is “use it or lose it” in terms of swallowing. The team from UI Hospitals shared their expertise built over years working with cancer patients. Keeping a patient swallowing is the most important part of treatment. A head and neck cancer survivor shared that this was the most important part for him. He told himself that he had to keep swallowing even though it was painful and exhausting.

Dr. Ianessa Humbert shared that SLP’s aren’t always that great at interpreting results from fluoroscopy (the stats are bad…). Accuracy with interpretation did not improve with years of experience, experience with VFSS, or with board certification in swallowing (this was VERY surprising to me). The only thing that increased the accuracy was using Frame by Frame review. This part was great to hear because I have always and will always continue to use frame by frame review with every FEES examination I complete. This is why I can only do 2-3 FEES max per day. Frame by frame review takes time, but it’s what needs to be done.

Did you know that SLP’s have a role in lymphodema management? Joy Hesse showed us the swelling that can occur internally for head and neck cancer patients. We watched some FEES videos (my favorite part of course!) which showed what a difference treatment she has provided makes for these patients. I’m thinking future CEU goals….?

Veena and Maggie from The Ohio State University shared their research on biofeedback using FEES for dysphagia therapy. We again got to watch some pretty amazing FEES videos and were able to see patients learning in real time how to “fix” their swallows by watching themselves swallow (way cool!). Biofeedback with FEES is the way forward in dysphagia management. Have you noticed any of the biofeedback techniques I use when evaluating your patients? I try to include it as much as possible to improve outcomes.

Did you attend the convention? What were your favorite parts? Let me know in the comments below or reach out through the website or facebook!



Dysphagia, FEES

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