UAD Students Participate in PHHP Research Day

Published: April 22nd, 2014

Category: national presentations, Uncategorized, University and Department news

UAD graduate students Alex Brandimore and Helena Laciuga, and undergraduate honors student Chelsea Smith participated in the College of Public Health and Health Professions 27th annual research day.  Research day provides PHHP students a chance to present the research they have conducted along with PHHP faculty mentors.  For undergraduate honors students, it is also the culmination of their honors thesis project.

UAD undergraduate honors student Cheslea Smith completed her project with mentor Dr. Karen Hegland, PhD, CCC-SLP.  Chelsea’s project focused on the ability to protect the airway with sequential cough function in patients with moderate-stage Parkinson’s disease (PD).  Her results showed differences in both the organization and effectiveness of sequential coughing in PD participants.  This important finding will help to guide development of clinical protocols for improving cough function in PD. 

Doctoral student Helena Laciuga presented her work on how speech-language pathology (SLP) clinicians identify ‘weak’ or ‘ineffective’ cough.  The identification of a weak cough during a clinical or bedside evaluation is often used by SLP clinicians as a marker for the presence of disordered swallowing, or dysphagia.  Helena’s study is the first to quantify the cough airflow characteristics associated with the subjective description of cough. Her mentors are Dr. Karen Hegland, PhD, CCC-SLP and Dr. Michelle Troche, PhD, CCC-SLP.

Doctoral student Alex Brandimore presented her study on the relationship between increasing severity of Parkinson’s disease and cough peak expiratory flow (PEF), a measure of cough effectiveness.  Her findings show that PEF decreases as a function of increasing PD severity.  This adds to a growing body of evidence supporting the need to target cough function in advancing PD to improve airway protective health outcomes in this population. Her mentors are Dr. Michelle Troche, PhD, CCC-SLP and Dr. Karen Hegland, PhD, CCC-SLP.

We are proud of all of these UAD students!

Doctoral student Alex Brandimore and undergraduate honors student Cheslea Smith at PHHP research day

Doctoral student Alex Brandimore and undergraduate honors student Cheslea Smith at PHHP research day

Cheslea Smith with her mentor Dr. Karen Hegland

Cheslea Smith with her mentor Dr. Karen Hegland