Water, Water Everywhere, But Why? Argument Against Free Water Protocols Free water protocols have become common in the management of patients with dysphagia. Their popularity has blossomed in the near-complete absence of any empirical data regarding their safety, efficacy and effectiveness. Proponents point to anecdotal reports and opinion pieces, while recent peer-reviewed investigation shows a mixed bag of safety and ... Article
Article  |   December 2011
Water, Water Everywhere, But Why? Argument Against Free Water Protocols
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • James L. Coyle
    Department of Communication Science and Disorders, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
  • © 2011 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders
Article   |   December 2011
Water, Water Everywhere, But Why? Argument Against Free Water Protocols
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2011, Vol. 20, 109-115. doi:10.1044/sasd20.4.109
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2011, Vol. 20, 109-115. doi:10.1044/sasd20.4.109

Free water protocols have become common in the management of patients with dysphagia. Their popularity has blossomed in the near-complete absence of any empirical data regarding their safety, efficacy and effectiveness. Proponents point to anecdotal reports and opinion pieces, while recent peer-reviewed investigation shows a mixed bag of safety and efficacy outcomes. This paper presents the argument against administration of “free water” without consideration of numerous factors besides the presence of dysphagia, and strongly urges the developers of the method to submit their data to peer review.

Become a SIG Affiliate
Pay Per View
Entire SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia) content & archive
24-hour access
This Issue
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access