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Dysphagia: implications for older people

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 November 2013

N Miller*
Institute of Health and Society, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
J Patterson
Institute of Health and Society, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK Sunderland Royal Hospital/University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Address for correspondence: Nick Miller, Institute of Health and Society, Speech and Language Sciences, George VI Building, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK. Email:


Dysphagia represents a salient concern in many conditions prevalent in older people. There are direct implications for morbidity and mortality. The importance of recognizing and managing dysphagia in hospital and the community also extends to psychosocial impact and quality of life, as well as health, economic and ethical-legal issues. This review outlines reasons for the importance of recognizing and treating dysphagia. It then proceeds to look at recent developments in our understanding of the nature, assessment and management of dysphagia in older people. Whilst there are well-established practices in assessment and management, ongoing work continues to challenge the validity and reliability of many methods. These concerns are covered and directions for future developments highlighted.

Review Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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