Dysphagia Management in Iran: Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Healthcare Providers
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Despite the remarkable burden of dysphagia, appropriate multidisciplinary management is lacking in Iran and patients are often deprived of effective treatments. Obtaining a full understanding of knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of healthcare providers is necessary to determine the gaps in improvement of the quality of care for dysphagic patients. A questionnaire was designed covering demographic information and the parameters of KAP. Face and content validity were determined. Test–retest reliability confirmed that the questionnaire scores are stable over time (r = 0.77, p value < 0.01). Participants were healthcare providers employed in university-affiliated hospitals in three major cities of Iran; Tehran, Shiraz and Mashhad. In total, 312 healthcare professionals completed our survey. The majority (96.8%) were familiar with the term “dysphagia or swallowing disorders”. Most of the participants believed their profession (88.5%), as well as other disciplines (92.3%) can play an important role in the management of dysphagia; and this problem should be recognized in a multidisciplinary manner (96.2%). Also, 60.9% had encountered a patient with dysphagia. 52.2% had used at least one assessment method, while 49.9% had applied at least one treatment method. However, very few participants were familiar with a standard test for screening and assessment of dysphagia (11.9%). 74.7% were willing to participate in a workshop on dysphagia. As the main pitfalls of care lie in diagnosis and treatment expertise, the policy of hospitals should prioritize educating and updating the skills of healthcare professionals, encourage multidisciplinary teamwork, establishing clear guidelines and facilitate access to advanced tools.
KeywordsDeglutition Deglutition disorders Health personnel Knowledge Quality of health care
This study was funded by Bone and Joint Diseases Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran (Grant No. 13502).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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