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Swallowing Assessment

The evaluation of swallowing disorders in adults often has two component parts: the clinical assessment and, when appropriate, laboratory (i.e., X-ray and direct visualization) assessment. The laboratory assessment includes studies that allow for the visualization of the swallowing mechanism during active swallow attempts. For most patients suspected of having dysphagia, both approaches will be combined, although there is no direct evidence in the literature that supports the notion that final outcomes are improved using a single or a combined approach. This entry provides an overview of the assessment of swallowing disorders in adults, specifically the clinical evaluation and use of imaging techniques.

The Clinical Evaluation

The clinical evaluation has three main parts: the medical history taken either from the medical record or from the patient directly, physical ...

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