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HPV: Changing the Face of Head & Neck Cancer

Written by Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of (revised April 25, 2017). Reposted on the NFOSD website with the author’s permission. See Karen’s Biography at the end of this article.

“How did I get tonsillar cancer? I don’t smoke or drink!”

Young people who do not smoke do NOT get cancer, right?


We need to have the talk — about sex and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). continue reading →

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New Resource: Educational Dysphagia Video

[Editor’s Note: The NFOSD Team has reviewed the DVD described below. While the DVD content overlaps with the NFOSD oral exercise videos and the iSwalllow app, it does serve as an additional tool available in DVD format to help treat the population who suffer from dysphagia. The NFOSD has no financial interest, relationship with, or conflict of interest to disclose in the sale of this DVD.]


In 2015, KRSD Communication Tools published “Educational Video for Individuals with Dysphagia: Exercises and Maneuvers to Help with Swallowing Difficulties,” a home therapy program created by three speech-language pathologists (Dondorf, Fabus, and Gatzonis) for use by both clinicians and patients.

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Persons with Parkinson’s Disease and Dysphagia


By: Mary Spremulli, CCC-SLP. Ms. Spremulli is the owner of Voice Aerobics, LLC, a Speech-Language Pathology Private Practice, located in SW Florida. She holds a speech-language pathology license in Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina, and a nursing license in Florida. She is a faculty member of Parkinson Place in Sarasota, FL, and a member of the Education Committee of the World Parkinson Program. Ms. Spremulli has been a Clinical Consultant with Passy-Muir, Inc. for over 20 years providing education to professionals and patients, and she has published articles on the topic of patient education. Since 2013, Ms. Spremulli has hosted a monthly podcast, focusing on topics related to living well with Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases.

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Swallowing Apps for Patients and Clinicians

Applications for Patients with Dysphagia


Swallow RehApp by Rehapp Mobile Health, Inc.

Description: Swallow RehApp is the newest mobile-hosted application designed to be a natural and effective complement to the traditional swallowing rehabilitation regimen. It harnesses the power of mobile technology by providing patients with consistent exposure to their dysphagia exercise plan and related dysphagia education. Clinicians are able to customize the program in a manner that is specific to their patients’ deficits and track progress towards their goals.

Pros: The app contains a dedicated education section that allows patients to better understand their swallowing disorder. Contains nutritional resources including a 7-day dysphagia diet with recipes and pre-made shopping lists.

Cons: The app must be opened to see the alert to perform the exercises. It may be beneficial to set an additional alert/alarm on the phone using the “Clock” app to remind patients of when to perform exercises.

Cost: $3.99

Availability: Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch; requires iOS 8.2 or later. Compatible with Android OS; requires 4.0 or later.

*Must be at least 17 years old to download the app.

Disclosure: The Swallow RehApp was developed by Endo-Education, which is an NFOSD corporate sponsor.


SmallTalk Dysphagia by LingraphicaScreen Shot 2015-09-23 at 7.45.49 PM

Description: This application provides a list of 50 pre-recorded phrases for patients and clinicians to choose from to describe a patient’s eating/drinking equipment, level of meal assistance required, diet modifications, how to take medications, and compensatory swallowing techniques. It also contains four demonstration videos of how to perform compensatory swallowing techniques.

Pros: The application allows the patient or clinician to choose the voice settings as either male or female. Phrases can be easily reset based on the patient’s needs. Each phrase includes text, audio, and a supplemental picture. This app would be useful for someone with communication or memory impairments.

Cons: Initially time consuming to delete the phrases not required by the patient under “Settings.”

Cost: Free

Availability: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

*Compensatory swallowing techniques and diet modifications should be determined by a qualified swallowing clinician



Swallow Prompt by Speech Tools Limited  Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 7.44.42 PM

Description: This application provides reminders to swallow for patients who have difficulty managing their saliva, which is sometimes a challenge for patients with a variety of neurological conditions. This simple app allows patients to set the frequency of the reminders to swallow, ranging from every 1 second to every 6 minutes. The patient can set reminders either as a tone or a vibration.

Pro: The newest version allows patients to connect to a Bluetooth headset. May help patients develop a more frequent automatic swallow pattern.

Con: This app tends to quickly drain your device’s cell phone battery. Adjusting the settings of the device to “Stand By” mode allows the device to preserve battery longer.

Cost: $0.99 (Apple), $1.49 (Android)


Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

Requires Android 4.1 or later



Applications For Swallowing Clinicians


Dysphagia Therapy by Tactus Therapy Solutions Ltd.Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 4.09.03 PM

Description: This new application, released at the end of October 2015, is designed to help clinicians assess swallowing disorders and determine appropriate rehabilitation options. It consists of four sections: Assessment, Treatment, Therapy Finder, and Resources.  This apps contains information about swallowing anatomy and physiology, the cranial nerves, treatment options, and downloadable patient handouts.

Pros: Once you become familiar with the app, you can design a treatment program for a patient and easily export this as a PDF or text file that includes instructions for the patient, sent directly to their email. There are over 45 swallowing management techniques that are included, which can be filtered by type of option (e.g., exercise, strategy, etc.).

Cons: Although you can export the recommended therapy options to a PDF/text file, you cannot add a specific regimen to each option (for example, adding “perform 10 reps three times a day”). This may be something that could be added in future updates, but you can currently work around this by adding information in the exported PDF/text file.

Cost: $11.99

Availability:  Compatible with iPad/iPad mini/iPhone/iPod touch; requires iOS 7.0 or later; .Compatible with Android OS; requires 4.1.03 or later

*Must be at least 17 years old to download the app.



Dysphagia by Northern Speech Services, Inc.Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 7.47.05 PM

Description: This application serves as a visual tool to help clinicians educate patients about swallowing disorders using animated videos. The video control options allow users to control the speed, pause the video, and view frame-by-frame. The application contains ten videos: 2 normal and 8 abnormal videos demonstrating the anatomy and physiology of swallowing.

Pro: Visuals help to give patients a better understanding of what is happening when they swallow. This app has the potential to improve patient’s buy-in to treatment by providing the patient with a more concrete understanding of their swallowing impairment(s).

Con: The videos of the abnormal anatomy and physiology depict only one specific impairment, which rarely exists in most patients. Videos only depict adult – not child – anatomy/physiology.

Cost: $9.99

Availability: Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod



Dysphagia2Go by Smarty EarsScreen Shot 2015-09-23 at 7.47.38 PM

Description: This clinician-focused app allows swallowing clinicians to quickly document observations and data relevant to swallowing evaluations at the bedside.   You can record results of the oral mechanism examination and bedside swallow trials. You can also document recommendations for diet and positioning modifications, treatment, and follow up. The information entered into this app can be exported as an editable report, printed, or e-mailed. Information can be saved on the app for later reference.

Pro: This app reduces the need for paper note-taking and charting. Provides a detailed template for clinicians to follow during swallowing assessment. Clinicians can save data on the application to use for later reference.

Con: If the device (iPad) is not protected with a password, the information stored in the application is not compliant with HIPAA standards. If printing or emailing the report, users must assure that they are using a secure connection.

Cost: $39.99

Availability: Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPad only.

*Clinicians should check with their IT Department if they are unsure if the app and device is HIPAA compliant prior to entering sensitive data.



Continuing Education Opportunity

If you are a clinician interested in learning more about swallowing apps, please visit Endo-Education’s website to view the online course: “iPhone Apps for Voice & Swallowing Disorders.” This course is $25 and upon completion, you can receive .05 CEUs. This course was designed to offer information to clinicians on how emerging technology can impact the delivery of treatment for voice and swallowing disorders. Endo-Education is a partner of the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders.



Are We Missing Any?

If you are aware of other dysphagia apps for patients or clinicians, please share these with us in the “Comments” section below. We will review and add them to our list. If you use any of the apps listed above, we invite you to share your feedback below.

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Adaptive Feeding Devices

By: Debbie Zwiefelhofer, RDN, LD. Debbie is the President for Nutrition Affairs LLC, Minneapolis, MN. Visit or contact her at

Sometimes it is not so much about exactly “what is dinner?” as it is how dinner is going to get eaten? Adaptive feeding devices are valuable tools that can often be overlooked or undervalued as a key component of a feeding plan for individuals with feeding disabilities. A whole world of specialized mugs, plates, utensils, and more exist as specialized “tools” to assist individuals with their feeding independence.

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