Stacey Skoretz

Assistant Professor

Research Interests

Dysphagia
Swallowing disorders
Artifical Airways
Mechanical ventilation
Integration of multiple systems and biomarkers during swallowing
Swallowing following artificial airway use and/or non-invasive ventilation
Cross-species conceptual frameworks of feeding and swallowing rehabilitation
Dysphagia risk profile
Early identification of dysphagia
Biomechanical and biomarker analyses
Clinical practice pattern assessment
Clinical practice guideline development for those with artificial airways

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Graduate Student Supervision

Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2020)
Determining the feasibility of assessing salivary biomarkers and swallowing perception in those with Sjogren's syndrome and healthy controls (2019)

Sjogren’s syndrome (SS) is an autoimmune disease characterized by altered saliva quantity and composition. Saliva is integral to swallowing, contributing to bolus formation, lubrication, and digestion. Salivary changes in SS can affect the perceptions and execution of deglutition resulting in increased residue and impaired bolus transport and formation. To date, no study has investigated the link between salivary biomarkers and swallowing perceptions. Our objectives were: 1) to explore the operational feasibility of investigating saliva quantity (volume) and quality (proteins/hormones) in those with and without SS, and 2) to explore the relation between saliva and swallowing perceptions across participants. We conducted a matched case-control, mixed methods study, collecting feasibility data and conducting quantitative and qualitative measures. We collected unstimulated and stimulated whole saliva conducting sialometric (flow rate) and sialochemical analyses including α-amylase, cortisol, mucins (MUC5B, MUC7), C-reactive protein (CRP), and total protein. We measured oral dryness (Clinical Oral Dryness Score [CODS]) and swallowing perception (SWAL-QOL Survey). We described the data using means (±SD) and medians (IQR), compared between groups using t-tests and Mann-Whitney U, as appropriate. We explored Pearson correlations comparing salivary data with oral dryness and swallowing perception. Over 13-weeks, we enrolled a convenience sample of 12 (N): cases (n1) = 6, controls (n₂) = 6 with five females, one male per group. Ages ranged from 31 to 68 years (n1, primary SS) and 31 to 64 years (n₂). All participants completed assessments and produced analyzable saliva. Those with SS presented with reduced flow rate (p = .003) and increased total protein, cortisol, and CRP (p
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