Evidence-based systematic review: Oropharyngeal dysphagia behavioral treatments. Part I-Background and methodology

Tobi Frymark, MA; Tracy Schooling, MA; Robert Mullen, MPH; Karen Wheeler-Hegland, PhD; John Ashford, PhD; Daniel McCabe, DMA; Nan Musson, MA; Carol Smith Hammond, PhD

JRRD, Volume 46 Number 2, 2009, Pages 175 — 184

Abstract —

Evidence-based systematic reviews (EBSRs), in conjunction with clinical expertise and client values, are invaluable tools for speech-language pathologists and audiologists. This article provides an overview of the levels-of-evidence scheme used by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) to conduct systematic reviews. The goal of ASHA reviews is to provide a tool to help clinicians determine the best treatment course for their clients. We present a collaborative project between ASHA’s National Center for Evidence-based Practice in Communication Disorders and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that examined seven behavioral swallowing treatments for disordered and nondisordered populations. The methodology used in a series of reviews conducted by ASHA and the VA will be discussed, including the development of clinical questions, search parameters, inclusion/exclusion criteria, and literature search results. Findings from the series of reviews as well as the practical applications of EBSRs will be reported in subsequent articles in this series.

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