Assessment & management

In practice, dysphagia may be evaluated and treated by a large (and somewhat bewildering) cross-section of clinical specialities:

Clinical specialities – evaluation and management of swallowing disorders35

  • Dentistry
  • Neurosurgery
  • Neurology
  • Otolaryngology
  • Nursing
  • Pulmonary Medicine
  • Gastroenterology
  • Radiology
  • Oral Surgery
  • Pediatrics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech-Language Pathology
  • General Surgery
  • Nutrition
  • Oncology
  • Physical Therapy
  • Rheumatology
  • Thoracic Surgery
  • Occupational Therapy

Ideally, a multi-specialty team would usually involve the patient’s primary care physician, otolaryngologist, speech and language therapist (sometimes known as speech and swallowing therapists), gastroenterologist, and radiologist – all working to clear lines of communication8. Depending on the patient’s condition, neurologists, dieticians, oncologists, general surgeons, and thoracic surgeons may also be involved in the patient’s care36.

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  • Assessment of dysphagia. BMJ best practice.
  • Prescribing Medicines for Patients with Dysphagia. A handbook for healthcare professionals.
  • Free online course - Swallowing difficulties and medicines. University of East Anglia and Future Learn.
  • Dysphagia Global Guidelines - World Gastroenterology Organisation.
  • RCSLT Resource Manual For Commissioning And Planning Services For SLCN – Dysphagia.