Outcomes of a first point of contact speech language therapy clinic for patients requiring vocal cord check pre and post thyroid/parathyroid surgery

Journal article


Davis, Jennifer, Ward, Elizabeth, Seabrook, Marnie, Gundara, Justin and Whitfield, Bernard C. S.. (2023). Outcomes of a first point of contact speech language therapy clinic for patients requiring vocal cord check pre and post thyroid/parathyroid surgery. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders. pp. 1-5. https://doi.org/10.1111/1460-6984.12976
AuthorsDavis, Jennifer, Ward, Elizabeth, Seabrook, Marnie, Gundara, Justin and Whitfield, Bernard C. S.
Abstract

Introduction
Speech Language Therapy First Point of Contact Clinic (SLT-FPOCC) models can assist assessment of low-risk patient populations referred to ear, nose and throat (ENT) services. To further improve ENT waitlist management and compliance with best-practice care, consideration of other low-risk populations that could be safely managed through this service model is needed. The aims of this paper are to evaluate the clinical and service outcomes of completing vocal cord check (VCC) assessments for patients’ pre and post thyroid/parathyroid surgery within an SLT-FPOCC model and examine consumer perceptions.

Methods & Procedures
The service followed existing SLT-FPOCC procedures, with ENT triaging referrals, then SLT completing pre- and postoperative VCC assessment (interview, perceptual assessment, flexible nasendoscopy), with assessment data later reviewed by ENT to diagnose laryngeal pathology. Clinical and service outcomes were collected prospectively. Patients completed an anonymous post-service satisfaction survey.

Results
Of the first 100 patients referred for preoperative VCCs, SLT assessment identified 42 with dysphonia and 30 reporting dysphagia, while ENT confirmed 9 with significant preoperative anatomical findings. Eighty-three underwent surgery, with 63 (95 nerves at surgical risk) returning for a postoperative VCC. Postoperative VCC identified three temporary neuropraxias (3.2%) and three unilateral vocal fold paresis (3.2%). Patients were highly satisfied with the service. All 163 pre-/postoperative VCCs were completed with no adverse events.

Conclusion & Implications
The current data support SLT-FPOCC service expansion to include pre and post thyroid/parathyroid surgery VCC checks, with positive consumer perception. The model supports delivery of best practice management (i.e., pre- and postoperative VCC) for patients receiving surgery for thyroid/parathyroid dysfunction, and associated efficiencies for ENT services.

Keywordsadvanced point of contact clinic; ENT; first point of contact clinic; parathyroid; speech-language therapy; thyroid; vocal cord check
Year01 Jan 2023
JournalInternational Journal of Language and Communication Disorders
Journal citationpp. 1-5
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons Ltd (UK)
ISSN1460-6984
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/1460-6984.12976
Web address (URL)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1460-6984.12976
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-13
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online03 Nov 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted13 Oct 2023
Deposited17 Jul 2023
Additional information

© 2023 The Authors. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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