Thickened Liquids – Practice Patterns of Speech-Language Pathologists

Jane Mertz Garcia 1
Edgar Chambers IV 1

Michelle Molander 1 
1 Kansas State University, Manhattan

This study surveyed the practice patterns of speech-language pathologists in their use of thickened liquids for patients with swallowing difficulties. A 25-item Internet survey about thickened liquids was posted via an e-mail list to members of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Division 13, Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia). Responses of 145 professionals who primarily manage adult dysphagia are reported. Although the majority affirmed that thickening thin liquids was an effective intervention strategy, opinions about effectiveness were more favorable for nectar-thick versus honey-like and spoon-thick consistencies. Respondents also acknowledged that their patients had little liking for thickened liquids. Results highlight issues related to products and staff training, as well as perceptionsconcerning the factors that might affect patients’ acceptance of and compliance with use of the products.

Key Words: diet modification, swallowing treatment, thickened liquids

American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology

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