Guideline for the identification and management of swallowing difficulties in adults with learning disability

Working Party—Wright, Beavon, Branford, Griffith, Harding, Howseman, Rasmussen, Sandhu, Shmueli, Smith & White


Adults with learning disabilities experience a higher incidence of health problems than the general population. The National Patient Safety Agency identified dysphagia, characterised by either difficulty initiating a swallow (oropharyngeal dysphagia), or a feeling that foods and/or liquids are hindered in the passage from the mouth to the stomach (oesophageal dysphagia), as a key area of risk.

Although there is a plethora of information surrounding swallowing difficulties, an overview of the management is currently unavailable, particularly in adults with learning disability.

This Guidelines summary includes an updated referral pathway, and covers recommendations on diagnosis, treatment and management, administration of medications to patients with swallowing difficulties.


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