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 journalArticle

44 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 1 2012



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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Speech and Hearing

Cite this

Krisciunas, G. P., Sokoloff, W., Stepas, K., & Langmore, S. E. (2012). Survey of usual practice: Dysphagia therapy in head and neck cancer patients. Dysphagia, 27(4), 538-549.