Assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of dysphagia in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2: A review of the literature and international guidelines

José Vergara, Stacey A. Skoretz, Martin B. Brodsky, Anna Miles, Susan E. Langmore, Sarah Wallace, Jaishika Seedat, Heather M. Starmer, Lee Bolton, Pere Clavé, Susana Vaz Freitas, Hans Bogaardt, Koichiro Matsuo, Cinthia Madeira de Souza, Lucia Figueiredo Mourão

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Speech-language pathologists are playing a crucial role in the assessment and management of patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Our goal was to synthesize peer-reviewed literature and association guidelines from around the world regarding dysphagia assessment and management for this specific population. Method: A review of publications available in the PubMed database and official guidelines of international groups was performed on May 23, 2020. The information was synthesized and categorized into three content areas for swallowing: clinical evaluation, instrumental assessment, and rehabilitation. Results: Five publications were identified in the PubMed database. Following title, abstract, and full-text review, only three publications met inclusion criteria: two reviews and one narrative report. Additionally, 19 international guidelines were reviewed. To assess swallowing, a modified clinical evaluation was recommended and only following a risk assessment. Instrumental assessments were often considered aerosol generating, especially transnasal procedures such as endoscopy and manometry. For this reason, many associations recommended that these examinations be performed only when essential and with appropriate personal protective equipment. Guidelines recommended that intervention should focus on compensatory strategies, including bolus modification, maneuvers/postural changes, and therapeutic exercises that can be conducted with physical distancing. Respiratory training devices were not recommended during rehabilitation. Conclusions: International associations have provided extensive guidance regarding the level of risk related to the management of dysphagia in this population. To date, there are no scientific papers offering disease and/or recovery profiling for patients with dysphagia and coronavirus disease 2019. As a result, research in this area is urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2242-2253
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11-2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of dysphagia in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2: A review of the literature and international guidelines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this