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Authors Martino R, McCulloch T
Author Profile(s)
Journal Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol
Publish Date 2016 Sep 14
PubMed ID 27625188
Abstract

Oropharyngeal dysphagia is a frequent consequence of several medical aetiologies, and even considered part of the normal ageing process. Early and accurate identification provides the opportunity for early implementation of dysphagia treatments. This Review describes the current state of the evidence related to dysphagia therapies – focusing on treatments most clinically utilized and of current interest to researchers. Despite successes in select studies, the level of evidence to support the efficacy of these treatments remains limited. Heterogeneity exists across studies in both how interventions are administered and how their therapeutic value is assessed, thereby making it difficult to establish external validation. Future work needs to address these caveats. Also, to be most efficacious, dysphagia therapies need to account for influences from pre-morbid patient characteristics as these factors have potential to increase the risk of dysphagia and the resulting complications of aspiration, malnutrition and psychological burden. Dysphagia therapies therefore need to incorporate the medical aetiology that is at its root, the resulting swallow physiology captured from comprehensive clinical and/or instrumental assessments, and the existing needs and supports of patients.

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