Swallowing Disorders Research

Multidisciplinary Swallowing Disorders Center


Our Research Program:

  • Explores the impact of swallowing disorders on patient quality of life
  • Identifies and evaluates new treatments for swallowing disorders

Please specify "Multidisciplinary Swallowing Disorders Center" in the "Special Instructions/Other Designation" field.

Use of a mobile application to support patients needing swallowing therapy during radiation for head and neck cancer.

Improvements in patient satisfaction regarding swallowing function after implementation of a dedicated head and neck cancer speech and swallowing rehabilitation program.

Research Publications


Feasibility of a mobile application to enhance swallowing therapy for patients undergoing radiation-based treatment for head and neck cancerStarmer HM, Abrams R, Webster K, Kizner J, Beadle B, Holsinger FC, Quon H, Richmon J.  Dysphagia 2017; September 30.


The impact of a speech and swallow rehabilitation program: Patient satisfaction and multidisciplinary careStarmer HM, Ayoub N, Byward C, Kizner J, Le QT, Hara W, Holsinger FC.  Laryngoscope 2017; 127(11): 2578-81.


One-year swallowing outcomes in patients treated with prophylactic gabapentin during radiation-based treatment for oropharyngeal cancer.  Starmer HM, Yang W, Gourin CG, Kumar R, Jones B, McNutt T, Cheng Z, Quon H.  Dysphagia 2017; 32(3): 437-42.


Dynamic Imaging Grade of Swallowing Toxicity (DIGEST): Scale development and validation.  Hutcheson KA, Barrow MP, Barringer DA, Knott JK, Lin HY, Weber RS, Fuller CD, Lai SY, Alvarez CP, Raut J, Lazarus CL, May A, Patterson J, Roe JW, Starmer HM, Lewin JS.  Cancer 2016; 123(1): 62-70.


Predictive factors for Prophylactic Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) tube placement and use in head and neck patients following Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) treatment: concordance, discrepencies, and the role of gabapentin.  Yang W, McNutt TR, Dudley SA, Kumar R, Starmer HM, et al.  Dysphagia 2016; 31 (2): 206-13.


Speech-language pathology care and short- and long-term outcomes of laryngeal cancer treatment in the elderly.  Starmer HM, Quon H, Simpson M, Webster K, Tippett D, Herbert RJ, Eisele DW, Gourin CG.  Laryngoscope 2015; 125(12): 2756-63.


Long-term functional outcomes of total glossectomy with or without total laryngectomy.  Lin DT, Yarlagadda BB, Sethi RK, Feng AL, Schnayder Y, Ledgerwood LG, Diaz JA, Sinha P, Hanasono MM, Yu P, Skoracki RJ, LIan TS, Patel UA, Leibowitz J, Purdy N, Starmer H, Richmon JD. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2015; 141(9): 797-803.


The effect of radiation dose on swallowing: Evaluation of aspiration and kinematics.  Starmer HM, Quon H, Kumar R, Alcorn S, Murano E, Jones B, Humbert I.  Dysphagia 2015; 30(4): 430-7.


Effect of gabapentin on swallowing during and after chemoradiation for oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer.   Starmer HM, Yang WY, Raval R, Gourin CG, Richardson M, Kumar R, Jones BJ, McNutt T, Cheng Z, Quon H. Dysphagia.  2014; 29(3): 396-402.


Radiation dose to the floor of mouth muscles predicts swallowing complications following chemoradiation in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma.  Kumar R, Madanikia S, Starmer H, Yang W, Murano E, Alcorn S, McNutt T, Quon H.  Oral Oncology 2014; 50(1): 65-70


Swallowing outcomes in patients with oropharyngeal cancer undergoing organ preservation treatment.  Starmer HM, Tippett D, Webster K, Quon H, Jones B, Hardy S, Gourin CG.  Head and Neck, 2014; 36: 1392-7.


Dysphagia, short-term outcomes, and cost of care after anterior cervical disc surgery.  Starmer HM, Riley LH, Hillel AT, Akst LM, Best SR, Gourin CG.  Dysphagia 2014; 29(1): 68-77.


Patient-perceived long-term communication and swallow function following cerebellopontine angle surgery.  Starmer HM, Ward BK, Best SR, Gourin CG, Akst LM, Hillel A, Brem H, Francis HW.  Laryngoscope 2014, 124(2): 476-80.


Is speech language pathologist evaluation necessary in the nonoperative treatment of head and neck cancer?  Starmer HM and Gourin CG.  Laryngoscope 2013, 123(7): 1571-2.


The Use of Low-Osmolar Water-Soluble Contrast in Videofluoroscopic Swallowing Exams.  Harris JA, Bartelt D, Campion M, Gayler BW, Jones B, Hayes A, Haynos J, Herbick S, Kling T, Lingaraj A, Singer M, Starmer H, Smith C, Webster K.  Dysphagia 2013, 28(4): 520-7.


The Effect of Pneumonia on Short-term Outcomes and Cost of Care After Head and Neck Cancer Surgery.  Semenov E, Starmer H, Gourin CG.  Laryngoscope 2012; 122(9): 1994-2004.


The Relationship Between Depressive Symptoms, Quality of Life, and Swallowing Function in Head and Neck Cancer Patients 1 Year After Definitive Therapy.  B Lin, Starmer H, C Gourin.  Laryngoscope. 2012; 122(7):1518-25.


Risk Factors for Vagal Palsy following Cerebellopontine Angle Surgery.  S Best, Starmer H, Y Agrawal, B Ward, A Hillel, W Chien, H Francis, R Tamargo, L Akst.  Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2012, 147(2): 364-8.


Prevalence, Characteristics, and Management of swallowing disorders following cerebellopontine angle surgery.  Starmer HM, Best SR, Agrawal Y, Chien WW, Hillel AT, Francis HW, Tamargo RJ, Akst LM.  Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012; 146(3):419-25.


Pretreatment swallowing assessment in head and neck cancer patients.  Starmer H, Gourin CG, Lua LL, Burkhead L.    Laryngoscope. 2011; 121(6):1208-11.