The purpose of this paper is to survey current nutrition/foodservice‐related healthcare professionals to determine their level of knowledge about dysphagia, and their perceptions of dysphagic patients and their needs.
A data collection instrument in the form of a questionnaire was developed to obtain an idea of the perceptions and knowledge‐level of diet/foodservice‐related healthcare workers about dysphagia. Subjects included foodservice workers, including food preparers and food deliverers at a large healthcare facility in the Southwestern United States. A total sample size of n=51 surveys was collected and analyzed.
Given the means from this sample group, healthcare foodservice workers are lacking in some areas of knowledge concerning dysphagia patients, and their dietary needs. Education and training seem indicated, as the number of patients suffering from some degree of dysphagia is only going to increase as the US population ages.
Millions of Americans currently suffer from at least some degree of dysphagia. This number is expected to increase as the Baby Boomer generation reaches retirement age. The USA will be populated by more elderly people than ever before, and will thus host more individuals suffering from swallowing impairment. This paper adds insights to the subject.
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