SIG 13 Perspectives Vol. 22, No. 1, March 2013
This issue of Perspectives highlights dysphagia considerations in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). First, Britton, Cleary, and Miller review ALS etiology and symptomology. They further delve into philosophical arenas of care practices in degenerative disease processes. McDonagh then shares the role of the registered dietitian, along with current research addressing the importance of nutritional and metabolic support in patients diagnosed with ALS. She proposes further research is needed to establish evidence-based standards and new practices to slow weight loss and improve patient care. Next, Cleary and Richman-Eisenstat explore pulmonary function decline associated with ALS. They discuss the role of pulmonary aides and clinical techniques to optimize function for pulmonary health with a focus on lung volume recruitment therapy. Bedore adds to the discussion by focusing on dysphagia and staging of speech, swallowing, and extremity function for those with ALS. Assessment tools and interventions are depicted and coordinated with disease progression. Finally, Sterling, Axline, and Ragland have accepted the challenge to incorporate patient perception into this issue of Perspectives. They have successfully melded research-based treatment approaches with graciously shared dynamic patient perspectives of ALS and the reality of its impact on daily life and interpersonal relationships.
You will be able to:
- demonstrate awareness and knowledge of the characteristics of ALS, philosophy of care for individuals with ALS, and key measures that help guide appropriate interventions
- explain the underlying physiological rationale for four commonly used respiratory treatments in cases of advanced ALS
- describe the general disease progression of ALS and identify clinical examinations commonly utilized to judge severity
- identify the components of the SPIKES protocol
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