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Dysphagia: The Team Approach to Best Practice

Doreen Rodo, MeD, RDN, LD

CE Credit: 1 Hour

Target Audience: Social Work CE | Occupational Therapy CEUs | Nutrition & Dietetics CE

Learning Level: Introductory

Course Type: Online

Course Abstract

Dysphagia: The Team Approach to Best Practice is a 1-hour online continuing education (CE) course that focuses on the interdisciplinary team approach to identifying, treating and managing dysphagia.

Dysphagia is a wide spread problem in the elderly, with many going untreated. Older adults are at an increased risk due to having many factors that lead to swallowing difficulties. Some of these are a diagnosis of stroke, dementia, pneumonia and Parkinson’s disease. Many have generalized weakness and comorbidities that also contribute to a reduced swallowing response. The decreased ability to swallow can lead to other complications, but the largest concerns are with dehydration, weight loss and malnutrition.

This course was developed to assist the interdisciplinary team [Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Occupational Therapist (OT) and Social Worker] in the management of dysphagia. Topics covered include the swallowing process, types of dysphagia, risk factors, signs and symptoms, how dysphagia affects the body, screening and assessment, roles of the interdisciplinary team, nutrition, and treatment options (National Dysphagia Diet, thickened liquids, free water, and rehabilitative strategies).

Course #11-01 | 2016 | 23 pages | 10 posttest questions

Learning Objectives

1. Differentiate between the three types of dysphagia
2. List five conditions that may cause dysphagia and five symptoms of dysphagia
3. Identify the roles of the interdisciplinary team members integral to the treatment of dysphagia
4. Describe five interventions used in the treatment of dysphagia

AOTA Approved Provider

Professional Development Resources is an AOTA Approved Provider of professional development. Course provider ID# 3159. This distance learning-independent course is offered at 0.1 CEUs, introductory level, OT service delivery. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Arizona Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners; the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; and is CE Broker compliant (#50-1635) (all courses are reported within two business days of completion). Participant successfully completed the required assessment component for this activity.


This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. The course is text-based (reading) and the CE test is open-book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of this course involves passing an online test (80% required, 3 chances to take) and we ask that you also complete a brief course evaluation. Click here to learn more.

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About the Author(s)

Doreen Rodo, MEd, RDN, LD, obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics from the State University of New York, College at Buffalo. She completed her internship at the University of Connecticut in conjunction with Hartford Hospital. Recently, she earned a Master’s Degree in Nutrition Education from Framingham State University. She has over twenty-five years of long-term care experience and has worked as a food safety auditor, public health dietitian, and a Servsafe food safety teacher. Doreen is a professional mentor for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and assists students with applying for internships and finding rotations. She currently works as a nutrition consultant for hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and also writes coursework for healthcare professionals.

Financial: No relevant financial relationships exist.
: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist. 

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