Authors: Krekeler BN, Broadfoot CK, Johnson S, Connor NP, Rogus-Pulia N
Title: Patient Adherence to Dysphagia Recommendations: A Systematic Review
Source: Dysphagia 2018 33(2): 173-184
Year: 2018
Research Design: Systematic Review

Patient adherence to treatment recommendations is an important issue for healthcare providers, in a multitude of specialties, and is critical when assessing the efficacy and effectiveness of a particular treatment approach. Patients who have swallowing impairment often require complex and specific interventions requiring altered daily patterns of behavior. Patients with dysphagia who do not follow recommendations or prescribed exercises may not receive maximum benefit of an intervention. Poor adherence also makes it more difficult to evaluate efficacy of a treatment both clinically and in experimental settings. Further, swallow safety can be compromised if certain recommendations are not followed. Our purpose was to systematically review the literature to understand what is known about adherence within the field of dysphagia treatment. We systematically identified 12 studies that tracked and reported patient-specific adherence. In this review, we found that the average adherence rate from these studies ranges between 21.9 and 51.9%. Adherence to prophylactic treatment recommendations for patients with head and neck cancer was the focus in 9/12 studies. The findings of this review identify a large gap in knowledge regarding adherence to dysphagia treatment. Few studies account for adherence within their study designs. When planning dysphagia treatment studies, it is imperative that investigators include information regarding patient adherence to accurately interpret findings. Given the variable adherence rates found in this review, factors influencing patient adherence with dysphagia treatments should be identified to increase adherence in future trials.

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