Survey of usual practice: Dysphagia therapy in head and neck cancer patients

Gintas P. Krisciunas, William Sokoloff, Katherine Stepas, Susan E. Langmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


There is no standardized dysphagia therapy for head and neck cancer patients and scant evidence to support any particular protocol, leaving institutions and individual speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to determine their own protocols based on "typical" practices or anecdotal evidence. To gain an understanding of current usual practices, a national internet-based survey was developed and disseminated to SLPs who treat head and neck cancer (HNC) patients. From a random sample of 4,000 ASHA SID13 members, 1,931 fit the inclusion criteria, and 759 complete responses were recorded for a 39.3 % response rate. Results were analyzed by institution type as well as by individual clinical experience. While some interesting trends emerged from the data, a lack of uniformity and consensus regarding best practices was apparent. This is undoubtedly due to a paucity of research adequately addressing the efficacy of any one therapy for dysphagia in the HNC population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-549
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Deglutition
  • Deglutition disorders
  • Dysphagia therapy
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Usual care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Speech and Hearing


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