Defining dysphagia – a modified multi-professional Danish Delphi study

Anne Højager Nielsen, Signe Eskildsen, Janne Danielsen, Peter Haastrup, Anne Jellinghof, Johannes Riis, Anne Krarup, Hanna Rahbek Mortensen, Bahareh B. Philipsen, Natalie Rommel, Dorte Melgaard

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Objective: To establish a generally accepted Danish definition of dysphagia to enhance collaboration across sectors and professions. Methods: The study was initiated by a multi-professional group of experienced researchers and board members of the Danish Society for Dysphagia. We used a modified Delphi methodology to achieve consensus among experienced health care professionals from different professions and contexts. The initial stage consisted of a literature search leading to the draft of different definitions followed by two Delphi rounds between professionals and a stakeholder consultation round. Results: We conducted two Delphi rounds until one definition was clearly preferred. A total of 194 participants responded in round one, and 279 in round two. Both rounds had a broad representation of sectors and geography and most participants had worked with dysphagia for more than four years. Conclusion: The preferred definition was ‘Dysphagia is a functional impairment that either prevents or limits the intake of food and fluids, and which makes swallowing unsafe, inefficient, uncomfortable or affects quality of life’. The definition was widely accepted among different health professional groups, patients and across sectors.

TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)583-588
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2023


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