University of Limerick
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Clinical utility and safety of a new tool for tongue pressure measurement: the OroPress

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posted on 2014-01-02, 14:13 authored by Carmel NíChualáin
Purpose: To date, various studies have been carried out to develop new tools for measuring tongue pressures during normal swallowing but in very few of these studies have researchers focused on the clinical utility and safety of those tools. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical utility and safety of a newly designed tool for tongue pressure measurement: the OroPress. Methods: Thirty five healthy adults; 17 males from 18 to 63 years and 18 females from 19 to 70 years were purposefully recruited from the UL campus. Some participants were also recruited through verbal request to personal friends and classmates. Each participant undertook a trial with the OroPress sensor adhered to their hard palate as controlled swallowing and isometric tasks were undertaken. All participants and student researchers then completed a safety and utility questionnaire that was designed to explore their perceptions of the OroPress in terms of clinical utility and safety. The questionnaire data were analysed using the principles of Grounded Theory. Results: Seventy four percent of participants (n=26) reported that the sensor felt comfortable in his/her mouth and 88% (n=31) reported that it felt secure. Sixty eight percent (n=24) ‘strongly disagreed’ that the sensor made them gag when swallowing while 2% (n=1) ‘strongly agreed.’ In 48% (n=16) of trials, the researches agreed that the sensor was easily applied but in 42% (n=14) they disagreed. Conclusion: Overall, the trials were a success and the results obtained were encouraging for the safety and clinical utility of the OroPress tool. Clinical practice must be effective, efficient and, more importantly, safe. Such information about safety is essential before a tool of this nature is used in clinical settings. More studies of this kind would support clinicians to make sound, well-informed clinical decisions about the tools they use in their practice.



  • Master (Research)

First supervisor

Perry, Alison





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