This project will develop an interactive multimedia CD-ROM program to provide training to health service professionals working with adults with swallowing disorders (dysphagia). The primary audience is the team of professionals who assess and treat patients with dysphagia. This program will serve three major purposes: (l) provide pre-service training for students in speech-language pathology, nursing, medicine, occupational therapy, and nutrition; (2) provide training and resources to practicing professionals; and, (3) provide information to hospital and health care facility support personnel, patients with dysphagia, and patient family members. Seven specific objectives include: l) finalize the competencies for the training program, 2) design the architecture based on a case-study design, 3) create multimedia components for The Swallow and Assessment & Treatment sections of the program, 4) develop eight case studies for the Case Study section, 3) combine components into an interactive multimedia program, 6) evaluate the program for usability and instructional effectiveness, and 7) develop a plan for commercial distribution. This program will reduce the gap between classroom instruction and clinical training. Content will cover the anatomy and physiology of normal adult swallowing, the phases of swallowing and related disorders, the etiologies of dysphagia, assessment procedures, and treatment approaches. Content will be provided through audio narration, text, 3-D models, animation, QuickTime VR, video clips and photographs. Learning will be reinforced through the use of simulation, periodic competency checking, and decision-based branching. Interactive, multimedia presentation format will allow the learner to interact with assessment and treatment data to make decisions and solve problems. Embedded performance measures will allow the earner to practice in a safe environment and receive corrective feedback.

Proposed Commercial Applications

Commercial applications for the interactive multimedia program include: l) an essential component of dysphagia curriculum in university training programs for students in speech-language pathology, nursing, occupational therapy, dietetics and nutrition, and medical fields; 2) a stand-alone unit of instruction for inservice training of practicing professionals in the above- mentioned professions; 3) an important resource for staff training in hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes; and 4) an information source for patients with dysphagia and family members in hospital patient education programs.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase II (R44)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-NURS (01))
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Podskalny, Judith M
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Orcca Technology, Inc.
United States
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