Clinical Evaluation of Patients with Dysphagia: Importance of History Taking and Physical Exam



Assessment of dysphagia may include instrumental or non-instrumental measures—frequently both. The clinical evaluation is a collection of, largely, non-instrumental measures, which may include a comprehensive history, a detailed oral motor and sensory physical exam, and trial swallows of liquids and foods. Each aspect of the clinical evaluation serves a unique purpose yet contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the swallowing problem. The findings from the clinical evaluation provide information about a patient’s functional feeding and swallowing behaviors and determine the need for therapeutic intervention and/or additional instrumental testing. Patients at risk for dysphagia, and thus in need of a clinical evaluation, can be determined from screening. This chapter will describe each aspect of the clinical evaluation and screening and provide the value of each.


Motor Neuron Disease Lower Motor Neuron Tongue Pressure Laryngeal Elevation Speech Language Pathologist 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication Sciences and DisordersUniversity of Central ArkansasConwayUSA
  2. 2.Department of Speech and Language PathologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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