Development of a Multidisciplinary Evidence-Based Dysphagia Screen for All Acute Care Admissions Delay in referral to a speech language pathologist for evaluation and appropriate treatment of swallowing dysfunction may increase a patient's risk for dysphagia related sequelae such as pneumonia and dehydration. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued a Veterans Health Administration directive that included a mandate that nurses complete a ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2009
Development of a Multidisciplinary Evidence-Based Dysphagia Screen for All Acute Care Admissions
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jacqueline A. Hind
    William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Madison, WI
  • JoAnne Robbins
    University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI
  • Beverly Priefer
    William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, Madison, WI
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2009
Development of a Multidisciplinary Evidence-Based Dysphagia Screen for All Acute Care Admissions
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2009, Vol. 18, 134-139. doi:10.1044/sasd18.4.134
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2009, Vol. 18, 134-139. doi:10.1044/sasd18.4.134
Abstract

Delay in referral to a speech language pathologist for evaluation and appropriate treatment of swallowing dysfunction may increase a patient's risk for dysphagia related sequelae such as pneumonia and dehydration. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued a Veterans Health Administration directive that included a mandate that nurses complete a dysphagia screening on all patients admitted to a VA hospital. Initial attempts to translate this mandate into an assessment tool generated considerable controversy and debate nationwide among VA nurses and also between the disciplines of nursing and speech language pathology. A multidisciplinary cohort of nurses and speech language pathologists (SLPs) received a grant to determine, via systematic literature review, which risk factors and best practices were appropriate for screening VA patients. A six-item screen was developed to be used by nurses with a goal of identifying acute-care patients at risk for dysphagia for timely referral to a SLP. Feasibility studies are ongoing.

Acknowledgments
The project reported here was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Health Services Research and Development Service Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (#RRP 07-303). The Principal Investigator of this grant, Dr. Beverly Priefer, is the evidence based practice/ research manager at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs. This is GRECC Manuscript # 2009-14.
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