Home > Journals > European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine > Past Issues > European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2021 December;57(6) > European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2021 December;57(6):900-11



Publishing options
To subscribe
Submit an article
Recommend to your librarian


Publication history
Cite this article as


SYSTEMATIC REVIEW   Free accessfree

European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2021 December;57(6):900-11

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.21.06716-2


language: English

State of the evidence about rehabilitation interventions in patients with dysphagia

Arianna V. BAI 1, Francesco AGOSTINI 1 , Andrea BERNETTI 1, Massimiliano MANGONE 1, Gabriele FIDENZI 1, Rossella D’URZO 1, Marco RUGGIERO 1, Massimiliano MURGIA 1, Valter SANTILLI 1, Marco PAOLONI 1, Giovanni RUOPPOLO 2, Stefano MASIERO 3

1 Department of Anatomical and Histological Sciences, Legal Medicine and Orthopedics, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy; 2 Department of Sensorial Organs, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy; 3 Department of Neuroscience, University of Padua, Padua, Italy

INTRODUCTION: Rather than a separate nosological entity, dysphagia must be considered as a symptom of other pathological conditions, which afflicts patients admitted to numerous medical departments (rehabilitation, neurology, geriatrics, internal medicine, etc.) These disorders share the need for timely access to quality care and multidisciplinary treatment, including rehabilitation. The purpose of this study was to conduct a review of the current guidelines’ recommendations in the literature and provide recommendations on the rehabilitative management of the patient with dysphagia.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: The search was carried out through the main databases (Medline, Pedro, Cochrane Database and Google Scholar). All the articles concerning rehabilitation management of dysphagia, published in the last 10 years, have been included.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Bibliographic research has provided thirteen guidelines. The literature analysed focuses mainly on the screening, the evaluation and the planning of multidisciplinary treatment. The literature agrees in recommending as cornerstones in the treatment of the dysphagic patient dietary changes, rehabilitation training (particularly muscle strengthening exercises and coordination) and early use of alternative nutrition in patients severely compromised.
CONCLUSIONS: The dysphagic patient requires the deployment of a range of skills by a multi-professional and multi-disciplinary team. Speech and language pathologists in cooperation with specialists of rehabilitation have the task of managing the various stages, ranging from the early identification of the symptom to the setting of the treatment plan. Due to the lack of standardized protocols, it is necessary to implement the research path, especially regarding rehabilitation intervention.

KEY WORDS: Deglutition disorder; Guideline; Rehabilitation

top of page