This page collates papers and resources from the dysphagia work I have been involved in over the last 20 years for you to freely download and use.

Dysphagia refers to eating drinking and swallowing problems that affect the way people can safely eat and drink. It is more common in people with a learning disability and can have very serious negative health implications (for example choking and being more susceptible to chest infections). People with a learning disability and their carers often need support to help them to manage dysphagia. Below are the publications and the risk assessment tool developed by myself and my colleagues from research we have conducted.

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Researchers
Dr Darren Chadwick
Dave Omerod
Accessible & Practitioner Publications & Reports
Making reasonable adjustments to dysphagia services for people with learning disabilities

This report is the tenth in a series of reports looking at reasonable adjustments in a specific service area. The aim of these reports is to share information, ideas and good practice in relation to the provision of reasonable adjustments.We searched for policy and guidelines that relate to people with learning disabilities and dysphagia. A… Read More

Problems Swallowing?

By putting into action some of the best practice activities outlined in thisdocument, the safety of adults with learning disabilities who have dysphagia can be improved, reducing the risks associated with this potentially life-threatening condition. This document outlines the issues facing adults with learning disabilitieswho have dysphagia and introduces support materials that can providepractical help… Read More

Briefing Paper: What do we know about supporting people with learning disabilities who have dysphagia (difficulty in eating, drinking or swallowing)?

Dysphagia (difficulty in eating, drinking or swallowing) can lead to many health problems. One of the most important of these is aspiration pneumonia. This can lead to death. The best estimates suggest that around 1 in 10 people with learning disabilities have dysphagia1,2. This briefing outlines evidence on supporting people with learning disabilities who have… Read More

Guide to levels of risk of negative health consequences from dysphagia for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Dysphagia refers to problems that people may have with eating, drinking and swallowing (Robertson et al., 2018). It can have significant negative effects on the people physical and emotional wellbeing of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (Chadwick, 2017; Chadwick et al., 2006; Robertson et al., 2018). Dysphagia occurs in a significant proportion of those… Read More

Journal Articles (Peer Reviewed)
Carer knowledge of dysphagia management strategies.

Dysphagia can have many negative health consequences for people with learning disabilities, including dehydration, aspiration and asphyxiation. Few studies have investigated dysphagia management among adults with learning disabilities. This study aims to contribute to the existing knowledge by investigating carer knowledge of speech and language therapists' (SLTs) recommendations regarding dysphagia management, and by comparing carer… Read More

Adherence to eating and drinking guidelines for adults with intellectual disabilities and dysphagia

The extent to which 40 individuals with intellectual disabilities and dysphagia and their caregivers adhered to speech and language pathology dysphagia guidelines was evaluated. These individuals were observed having a meal across four settings. In addition to monitoring overall adherence, guidelines were split into separate sections corresponding to consistency modification of food and drinks, physical… Read More

Predictors of asphyxiation risk in adults with intellectual disability and dysphagia

Adults with learning disabilities referred for assessment of their eating and drinking are frequently reported to cough and choke when eating and drinking. The research literature investigating dysphagia has often overlooked asphyxiation risk, highlighting coughing and choking as indicators of aspiration only. This is a notable oversight due to the prevalence of asphyxia as a… Read More

Barriers to caregiver compliance with eating and drinking recommendations for adults with intellectual disabilities and dysphagia.

There is scant research on the subject of dysphagia and people with intellectual disabilities. This study explores the barriers which caregivers believe make following Speech and Language Therapists’ (SLTs) dysphagia management strategies more difficult. Semi‐structured open‐ended interviews were conducted with 46 caregivers who supported 40 intellectually disabled adults with dysphagia. Caregivers perceived particular difficulties in… Read More

A descriptive investigation of dysphagia in adults with intellectual disabilities.

Dysphagia has rarely been investigated in adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) despite being a serious condition affecting health and quality of life. This study collected information about 101 adults with ID, living in community settings, referred for an assessment of their eating and drinking. Ninety‐nine people were classified as having dysphagia from clinical and videofluoroscopic… Read More

Training support staff to modify fluids to appropriate safe consistencies for adults with intellectual disabilities and dysphagia: an efficacy study

Modifying the consistency of food and drink is a strategy commonly used in the management of dysphagia for people with intellectual disabilities (ID). People with ID often depend on others for the preparation of food and drink and therefore depend on those caregivers achieving the correct consistency to keep them safe and avoid discomfort during… Read More

Balancing safety and enjoyment: current practice when recommending tastes for people with intellectual disabilities who are non-orally fed

Eating and drinking problems are common among people with intellectual disabilities. Having a compromised swallow or being at risk of inadequate nutrition are two reasons for introducing non-oral feeding. Such procedures involve the creation of an external opening for food and drink to be delivered directly into the stomach through a tube. In recent years… Read More

Dysphagia Management for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Background: Dysphagia is a significant problem for adults with intellectual disabilities which has received sparse attention in the research literature. Little is currently documented about how dysphagia management operates and the barriers and associated strategies to address barriers utilised in practice. Method: A brief survey containing open ended questions was completed by 38 practitioners about… Read More

Prevalence of dysphagia in people with intellectual disabilities: a systematic review

Dysphagia (feeding and swallowing disorder) is associated with serious health complications and psychosocial sequelae. This review summarises international research relating to the prevalence of dysphagia in people with intellectual disability. Studies published from 1990 to July 2016 were identified using Medline, Cinahl, PsycINFO, Web of Science, email requests, and cross-citations. Twenty studies were identified. Dysphagia… Read More

People with intellectual disabilities and dysphagia

Purpose: Dysphagia (difficulties in eating, drinking or swallowing) is associated with serious health complications and psychosocial sequelae. This review aims to summarise the state of the evidence regarding dysphagia in people with intellectual disabilities (excluding prevalence), identify gaps in the evidence base and highlight future research priorities. Method: Studies published from 1 January 1990 to… Read More

Presentations & Publications
Working with Eating, Drinking & Swallowing Problems with People with a Learning Disability

Give a summary and overview of findings from some of the research I have been involved in conducting around dysphagia management. Indicate the practice implications and considers where we go from here. Dr. Darren Chadwick Chadwick, D., 2008. Oral Tasters For People Who Are Non-Orally Fed. Read More

Oral tasters for people who are non-orally fed

Aim: Eating and drinking problems are common among people withintellectual disabilities. Having a compromised swallow or being at risk ofinadequate nutrition are two reasons for the introduction of non-oral feeding. Such procedures involve creation of an external opening for food and drink to be delivered directly into the stomach through a tube. Historically oral and… Read More

Dysphagia management for adults with learning disabilities: Caregiver knowledge and barriers to their adherence.

This study investigates the factors that are associated with non-compliancewith dysphagia management strategies. Semi structured open endedinterviews were conducted with caregivers supporting adults with learningdisabilities and dysphagia to explore their knowledge of dysphagiamanagement, the potential risks of non compliance and the barriers theyexperienced. Recommendations pertaining to altering consistency and using specialised equipment and utensils were… Read More

Concordance, Safety & Enjoyment: Working with Eating, Drinking & Swallowing Problems with People with a Learning Disability.

Chadwick, D.D Chadwick, D.D. Concordance, Safety & Enjoyment: Working with Eating, Drinking & Swallowing Problems with People with a Learning Disability. Birmingham City University, May, 2016. Read More