The Status of Dysphagia Clinics During the COVID-19 Pandemic


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SEREL ARSLAN S., DEMİR N., Belafsky P. C.

DYSPHAGIA, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00455-021-10386-1
  • Journal Name: DYSPHAGIA
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: Deglutition, Deglutition disorders, Dysphagia management, COVID-19, Pandemic, HEALTH-CARE
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

The study aimed to determine the status of dysphagia clinics and procedures applied in dysphagia clinics during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinicians working in an outpatient dysphagia clinic were included. A 30-question survey inquiring about the descriptive information of the participants and their clinics, their clinical practice, and the tele-health applications during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was administered via Google forms. The participants were asked to fill out the survey on behalf of their clinics. One survey was completed per dysphagia clinic. Twenty-three clinicians responded on behalf of their clinics. The number of patients and dysphagia evaluations decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic (p < 0.05). The COVID-19 screening procedures mostly performed before dysphagia evaluations were temperature check (n = 14, 60.9%), nasopharyngeal swab test (n = 9, 39.1%), anamnestic risk assessment (n = 6, 26.1%), and saturation test (n = 6, 26.1%). Protective equipments mostly used while dysphagia evaluations were surgical mask, FFP3 mask, standard gloves, glasses, and face shield. It was found that 69.6% (n = 16) of the dysphagia clinics were reported to be suitable for working under pandemic conditions, and 30.4% (n = 7) were reported to be unsuitable. The use of tele-health applications significantly increased from 13.0% (n = 3) to 52.2% (n = 12) (p = 0.003). The present study provides a general overview of the status of dysphagia clinics and procedures applied in dysphagia clinics during the COVID-19 pandemic period. The study showed that working conditions, the number of patients, and the total number of evaluations have changed throughout the pandemic, and the use of tele-health applications increased.