Dr. Martino has a lab at the University of Toronto and a lab at the Krembil Research Institute within the University Health Network. She works with several Research Coordinators, research Speech Language Pathologists, and graduate research students. Currently, she is the primary supervisor of three PhD students and one post-doctoral fellow.
- Toronto Bedside Swallowing Screening TestDr. Martino's research focuses on understanding swallowing impairment and its impact on the patient. She has developed a tool called the Toronto Bedside Swallowing Screening Test (TOR-BSST(c)), by which stroke patients can be screened for the presence of swallowing difficulties within 24 hours of acute hospital admission. The premise of the TOR-BSST(c) is that earlier identification will initiate earlier intervention, and thereby reduce the incidence of medical complications such as pneumonia, malnutrition and even death while at the same time promoting earlier overall recovery. Through funding from the Canadian Stroke Network (CSN), as well as a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) New Investigator Award (in Knowledge Translation), Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) and the University of Toronto Dean's Fund, Dr. Martino has developed and validated the TOR-BSST(c) for use among stroke patients, and studied its implementation at 14 community hospitals and 2 long-term care facilities. More recently, she completed enrolment for a multi-year study validating the TOR-BSST(c) among critically ill patients who have been intubated for 48 hours or longer, with funding from a CIHR operating grant awarded in 2011.
- Medical Outcomes of Dysphagia (MOD)In addition, Dr. Martino has developed another tool targeting the medical outcomes of dysphagia (MOD). The MOD measures complications caused by swallowing problems -- namely pulmonary, nutrition and psychological impairments. The MOD is the first available to measure these complications in a standard and clinically feasible manner. This tool will benefit all patients with swallowing problems including those with stroke, Parkinson's disease, cervical spine abnormalities, and head and neck cancer. The MOD will be important to clinicians because it will be the first to allow them to evaluate and compare patient benefit from swallowing treatments. In 2005, Dr. Martino was awarded a New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Aging to further the development of the MOD tool. In 2009, she was also awarded operating grants from CIHR and the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (CCSRI) to carry out psychometric testing of the MOD in adult patients who have swallowing disorders secondary to stroke, cervical spine abnormalities, and head and neck cancer. Enrollment of the targeted 250 patients for this study is near complete.
- Assessment of Changes in Swallow Related Physiology, Function and Quality of LifeDr. Martino’s third, and most recent, research focus is the assessment of changes over time in swallowing physiology and swallowing related function and quality of life. To date, this work has focused on patients diagnosed to have head and neck cancer and who received organ sparing chemoradiation therapy. She completed the largest longitudinal study utilizing a comprehensive multi-modality assessment of swallowing in these patients following them for one year after their cancer treatment.
The feasibility of assessing swallowing physiology following prolonged intubation after cardiovascular surgery.
Pilot Feasibility Stud. 2017;3:62
Semin Radiat Oncol. 2018 Jan;28(1):64-74
J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2017 Sep 21;:1-11
Int J Stroke. 2017 Jan 01;:1747493017729265
Curr Oncol. 2017 Jun;24(3):153-160
Baseline executive control ability and its relationship to language therapy improvements in post-stroke aphasia: a systematic review.
Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2017 Apr 19;:1-45
Neurotoxicology. 2017 Apr 11;:
Stroke. 2017 Mar 08;:
Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2017 Feb 02;:
Affiliate Scientist, Krembil Research Institute (Krembil)
Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Swallowing Disorders
Associate Professor (Primary Appointment), Department of Speech Language Pathology, University of Toronto
Director, Swallowing Lab, University Health Network / University of Toronto
Associate Professor (Cross-Appointment), Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, University of Toronto
Associate Professor (Cross-Appointment), Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, University of Toronto