A swallowing disorder (dysphagia) is characterized by difficulty or discomfort in swallowing. The difficulty typically arises while ingesting foods or liquids. Swallowing disorders following stroke are common, afftecting 22% to 65% of patents, and may persist for many months. Swallowing disorders require immediate attention and if ignored may result in serious morbidity or even mortality, especially when identified in patients with acute stroke. To date, 25 studies have investigated the effectiveness of the interventions available to treat those with identified swallowing disorders, including, among others, oral electrical stimulation, biofeedback treatment, and swallowing exercises.
Ramsey D.J.C., Smithard D.G., Kalra L. (2003). Early Assessments of Dysphagia and Aspiration Risk in Acute Stroke Patients. Stroke. 34;1252-1257.
Authors*: Katie Sharpe MHSc Student; Rosemary Martino, MSc PhD; Dr. Nicol Korner-Bitensky, PhD OT