Linguacare is an independent speech language pathology service that contracts with healthcare facilities. They’ve been using device facilitated oropharyngeal strengthening for the past two years.
We sat down with Jacqueline Frasier M.A., CCC-SLP to discuss her success using the SwallowSTRONG device.
Q: Do you have any examples of where Swallow Solutions products helped one of your patients?
A: Absolutely. I have had numerous patients have success with Swallow Solutions and SwallowSTRONG. Recently, I had a patient with dysphagia (male, 71 yrs. old) and his wife were in my office crying with joy over the fact that they shared their first meal together for the first time in over 1 and a half years.
Q: Tell us more about this man and his problems.
A: He had head and neck cancer and was 2 years post chemo/radiation. His therapists tried compensatory maneuvers along with oropharyngeal strengthening. However, he was not doing well and his diet degraded to pureed foods and thickened fluids, and then a PEG tube was inserted about 6 months before I began to treat him. His wife was so supportive that she did not want to eat if her husband could not eat and she lost 40 pounds!
Q: So what did you do differently?
A: Well, I saw the Swallow Solutions product at a conference in October of 2013. I started using the device in 2014 and had success with other patients. I decided he was an excellent candidate for the SwallowSTRONG device. My patient was so motivated by the device and was especially engaged with the feedback of the software.
Q: What was the outcome?
A: He strengthened over the first 4 weeks and pureed foods were re-introduced. After 6 weeks of using the device, the PEG tube was removed.
Q: How did the patient react to having the PEG tube removed?
A: Well, that’s why the patient and his wife were in my office crying. They were able to eat together again!
Q: How is the patient doing today?
A: It’s been a total of 12 weeks since I first saw him and he does not need the device anymore. He’s eating full solids now. Every time he eats he’s using all the muscles that were strengthened with the SwallowSTRONG device.
Q: How did your patient pay for the use of the device?
A: I rent the SwallowSTRONG device, and I can use it with all of my patients. The patient pays for the mouthpiece.
Q: How did you get the patient to pay for the mouthpiece?
A: I explained it to the patient this way: the device offers is evidence-based and offers real results, and he’d be saving himself money in the long run. Think about it. With regular visits to his other doctors and therapists, the co-pays alone are very expensive. If we could reduce or eliminate those costs, the mouthpiece pays for itself, all while he’s getting better and enjoying a better quality of life.
Learn more about Linguacare here.