A tool to assist people undergoing swallow rehabilitation. Swallow RehApp app MUST be used under the guidance of a speech language therapist.
What does the Swallow RehApp app do?
This app is for people with oropharyngeal dysphagia (difficulty swallowing due to problems in the pharynx and mouth rather than problems in the oesophagus). It MUST be used under the guidance of a speech language therapist. The app comprises a few sections as follows:
- the education section allows users to get a better understanding of their swallowing disorder
- the nutrition section includes recipes and a diet plan
- the journal section has provision for users to record exercises, foods, etc
- the exercises section has 10 different exercise plans.
For the complete app description, go to the App store or for a more detailed review, see Reviews.
✔ Education section on swallowing problems.
✔ Journal section has a food journal, notes and a rating scale, and it automatically tracks completed exercises.
✔ Nutrition section has a 7-day dysphagia menu (and shopping list) for people with swallowing difficulties, developed by a registered dietitian.
✔ Exercise section. This should be set up by the user’s speech language therapist who chooses from 10 different exercises and sets the timing, frequency and repetitions. There are videos and detailed descriptions for each exercise. The user tracks repetitions which links into the journal. Push notifications can be set to remind the user to perform the exercises.
✔ Rating Scale section. Three questionnaires for assessing eating, voice handicap and reflex symptoms. A notification can be set for future re-assessments. The results can then be graphed to view progress.
✔ Video tutorial for how to use the app.
✘ No free version
✘ Cannot export data
✘ Last updated 18 months ago
✘ Only available on iTunes (App store) – available for Android devices (Play Store)
Date of review: July 2019
Platform reviewed: Apple
Download size: 3.2 MB
Updated on: 31 January 2018
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Reviewer: Jeremy Steinberg, GP, RNZCGP
Date of review: July 2019
Comments: This app can assist patients who are undergoing swallow rehabilitation for oropharyngeal dysphagia (difficulty swallowing due to problems in the pharynx and mouth). Conditions that can cause type of dysphagia include stroke, head or neck trauma, neurological conditions and surgery. Swallow rehabilitation has limited evidence but it is low risk, low cost and has a scientifically plausible mechanism for being effective. It generally consists of dietary modification and specific exercises and swallowing manoeuvres. The app should NOT be used without the guidance of a speech language therapist. The therapy needs to be tailored to the deficits that are found by the clinician.
Safety concerns: None
New Zealand relevance: Relevant to New Zealanders