Vol 3, No 10 (2014): TOPIC HIGHLIGHT: "Oropharyngeal dysphagia" Part Ⅱ

Renée Speyer

Renée Speyer, PhD, Associate Professor, Head, Discipline of Speech Pathology, School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia; Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Leiden University Medical Center, 2333 ZA Leiden, The Netherlands.



I am pleased to briefly introduce this special issue on swallowing disorders. Many well-known experts have contributed by summarizing the latest developments in their research on oropharyngeal dysphagia. This underdiagnosed condition is associated with increased risk of dehydration, malnutrition, aspiration pneumonia, a high mortality rate and major impacts on patients' health-related quality of life. The contributions cover the full range of current topics in oropharyngeal dysphagia.

This special issue provides a concise update on developments in the aetiology, assessment and treatment of oropharyngeal dysphagia. It meets a need, since raising awareness of the condition is the key to better health care for the patients. Indeed, to avoid complications, early screening is essential. And as the number of treatment options for dysphagia is growing, all with the aim of optimising the physiological process of swallowing and improving a patient’s quality of life. In that effort, valid and reliable tools for screening and assessment are crucial in order to quantify the treatment outcomes.

Oropharyngeal dysphagia should be fully assessed and managed according to the existing evidence and current standards as reported in the literature. Whilst it may not always be possible to cure the patients' swallowing problems, treatment may reduce the complications and thereby improve their health-related quality of life.

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ISSN: 2224-6509