Dysphagia Management via Telerehabilitation: A Review of the Current Evidence

Elizabeth C Ward, Clare L Burns


Dysphagia is a common symptom of a wide range of medical conditions. Accurate assessment, diagnosis and management of dysphagia requires the expertise of a skilled speech pathologist with access to a range of clinical resources. Unfortunately, not all services are easily accessible by patients, and many services face challenges of insufficient staffing, limited access to necessary equipment for instrumental assessments and/or a lack of clinicians with specialist expertise in dysphagia assessment and management to meet current service demands. Telerehabilitation is a model of care, which has the potential to address some of these barriers to improve patient access to dysphagia services. This paper details the evidence base for dysphagia assessment and management conducted via telerehabilitation available to date. It discusses the issues involved with evaluating telerehabilitation services and highlights important considerations for future service development. Overall the evidence base in this field is in its infancy and there are multiple questions which require further research. Despite this, the current evidence is largely positive, supporting the potential for telerehabilitation to serve as a viable clinical modality for the delivery of dysphagia management in the future.


Dysphagia; Deglutition and deglutition disorders; Telerehabilitation; Telehealth; Swallowing disorders; Clinical swallowing examination

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