Implementing the use of Gloup medication lubricant for pill dysphagia on an acute hospital ward: patient, nursing staff, and speech pathologist experiences and safety outcomes

Mrs Jessica Samways1

1Mater Health, South Brisbane, Australia, 2Mater Pharmacy, South Brisbane, Australia

Speech pathologists at Mater Hospital Brisbane receive many referrals for “pill dysphagia”, or difficulty swallowing solid oral dose medication. Some of the referrals to speech pathology would be considered inappropriate as the outcome of the assessment often reveals age-appropriate swallow function with recommendations for common solutions to pill dysphagia. Common practices include providing whole or crushed tablets in a carrier substance or consideration of non-solid doses of medication; however, some medications cannot be altered due to changes in bioavailability, resulting in withholding or refusing medication. Products such as Gloup allow the patient to swallow whole tablets without the need to alter administration, and claim not to affect bioavailability. The speech pathology department introduced a trial on a high referral ward where Gloup medication lubricant was used to administer solid oral dose medication for patients with pill dysphagia. Preliminary benchmarking across Queensland Health Hospitals shows limited consistency in management of pill dysphagia on the wards, with 57% of sites surveyed considering the implementation of Gloup in the future. The aims of our trial were to determine 1) safety of routinely recommending Gloup to administer solid dose medication for pill dysphagia, 2) nursing staff and patient experience of using Gloup, and 3) if there was a reduction in inappropriate referrals to speech pathology, whilst not compromising appropriate referrals.


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