Authors: McKinstry A, Tranter M, Sweeney J
Title: Outcomes of dysphagia intervention in a pulmonary rehabilitation program
Source: Dysphagia 2010 25(2): 104-111
Year: 2010
Research Design: Case Series

People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or chronic respiratory disease demonstrate an increased prevalence of oropharyngeal dysphagia as a consequence of impaired coordination between respiration and swallowing function. To date, the effect of patient education and intervention on the management of oropharyngeal dysphagia within pulmonary rehabilitation programs has not been reported or evaluated. Data were collected on participants who were enrolled in the Outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program and who received dysphagia intervention. Intervention consisted of some or all of the following: (1) a 1-hour dysphagia education program, (2) screening for oropharyngeal dysphagia, and (3) individual comprehensive oropharyngeal dysphagia assessment and management if a screening assessment was failed. A statistically significant improvement was found in participants' knowledge of dysphagia and COPD (P < 0.001). Participants' retention of this knowledge 4 days post education remained statistically significant (P < 0.001). Twenty-seven percent of participants who were screened had symptoms of oropharyngeal dysphagia. Fifty-five (53%) participants receiving further individual dysphagia assessment/management correctly completed pre/post swallowing-related quality-of-life surveys (SWAL-QOL). Statistically significant improvement was found in the following subscales: Burden of Dysphagia (P < 0.009), Physical Problems of Dysphagia (P < 0.012) and Managing Diet Options/Food Selection (P < 0.016). Dysphagia education, screening, and management in a pulmonary rehabilitation program improved participants' swallowing-related quality of life and overall self-management of chronic respiratory disease and dysphagia. ©Springer

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