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.
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.
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.
The dysphagic patient requires the deployment of a range of skills by a multiprofessional 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.