Ann-Louise Spurgin

Speech Pathology Australia, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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Publications (4)7.11 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The "Swallowing and Nutrition Guidelines for Patients with Head and Neck Cancer" were developed to guide early identification and management of dysphagia and nutritional risk before, during, and after cancer treatment. The purpose of this study was to validate these guidelines. METHODS: Patients attending a Combined Head and Neck Clinic at a major tertiary hospital in 2007 to 2008 were assessed using the guidelines, with high-risk category patients recommended for proactive gastrostomy. Data were collected on guideline adherence, gastrostomy tube insertion, and weight. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value were calculated for validation. RESULTS: Proactive gastrostomy tubes were inserted in 173 of 501 patients (25%). Overall guideline adherence was 87%. High-risk category adherence was 75%. Validation outcomes were sensitivity 54%, specificity 93%, and positive predictive value 82%. CONCLUSION: The risk categories in the guidelines are valid to assist early identification of swallowing and nutritional risk and guide decision-making on proactive gastrostomy tube insertion. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2012.
    Head & Neck 09/2012; · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Evidence-based nutritional and swallowing guidelines were developed to identify patients at high risk of developing malnutrition during chemoradiation for head and neck cancer. These guidelines recommended a prophylactic gastrostomy and were actively implemented at our institution in January 2007. This study assesses the effect of this policy change on patient outcomes. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study was carried out for the years before (2005) and after (2007) implementation of these guidelines. RESULTS: In all, 165 patients were treated with radical chemoradiation for head and neck cancer at our institution in the years 2005 and 2007. Gastrostomy tube complications were low. Patients in 2007 had significantly fewer hospital admissions, unexpected admissions, and a shorter mean duration of hospital stay in comparison with those in 2005. CONCLUSIONS: Prophylactic gastrostomy tubes in patients with high-risk head and neck cancer resulted in a significant decrease in hospital admissions and length of stay, and led to increased bed availability. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2012.
    Head & Neck 05/2012; · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Literature regarding the education, training, clinical support and confidence of speech-language therapists (SLTs) working with patients with a tracheostomy is limited; however, it suggests that many clinicians have reduced clinical confidence when managing this complex population, many face role and team challenges practising in this area, and most are seeking more opportunities for professional development and training. To investigate the education, training, clinical support and confidence of SLTs in the UK who manage patients with a tracheostomy in order to identify current challenges and inform the future clinical training needs of this professional group. Via an online survey, the clinical training, clinical support and confidence of SLTs with more than one year of clinical experience was examined. A total of 106 SLTs from the UK completed the survey. Within the questionnaire, clinicians were also asked to identify if their workplace had a tracheostomy competency training programme (CTP) to allow further exploration of the preparation, clinical support and confidence of respondents with (43% of respondents) and without (32% of respondents) a CTP. Most SLTs (71%) were confident managing patients with a tracheostomy. The majority were accessing professional development and receiving expert support, though many identified specific areas where more support and training was needed. Less than half the group felt up to date with the current evidence. Only 35% of clinicians felt they worked in an optimal team for tracheostomy management, and poor recognition of the role of the SLT in managing dysphagia in patients with a tracheostomy was an issue for many clinicians, particularly on more general care wards. SLTs in workplaces with a CTP were found to have received significantly more expert support, on-the-job training, access to evidence-based practice and were significantly more confident in managing ventilator-assisted patients. SLTs are eager to access further professional development and training; however, such training needs to target specific areas of need. The significant difference in the preparation, support and confidence of SLTs with CTPs in their workplace highlights potential benefits that can be achieved through workplace training and support.
    International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders 05/2012; 47(3):322-32. · 1.44 Impact Factor
  • Head and Neck. 01/2012;