Topic Areas: Adult Swallowing

Topic Chairs: Heather Starmer

Content Area: Speech-Language Pathology

Proposals appropriate for submission to this topic area include normal and abnormal swallowing from 18 years to senescence including research, clinical and instrumental assessment, treatment approaches, and service delivery issues related to persons with dysphagia. Interprofessional education, practice, and/or research that addresses the implementation of interprofessional competencies within curricular or practice models, or the evaluation of collaborative care outcomes specific to swallowing disorders should be included in this topic area.


  • Translational, applied or implementation research related to adult swallowing, and associated disorders, from 18 years to senescence  
  • Quantitative inquiries including but not limited to clinical guidelines, meta-analysis, systematic reviews, randomized-controlled trials, well-designed case-control/quasi-experimental studies, single subject designs, patient reported outcomes (PRO)
  • Outcomes evaluation/research
  • Qualitative inquiries including but not limited to ethnographic, narrative, PRO
  • Mixed methods research

Professional Education

  • Normal swallowing physiology in adults  
  • Interprofessional issues specifically related to swallowing  
  • Prevention/screening of dysphagia in adults  
  • Innovative technologies for the assessment and treatment of dysphagia  
  • Diagnosis of dysphagia in adults  
  • Non-malignant esophageal/gastrointestinal disorders associated with dysphagia from 18 years through senescence  
  • Instrumental assessment of swallowing  
  • Behavioral management of dysphagia from 18 years through senescence  
  • Management of dysphagia in special populations (e.g., ALS, atypical Parkinsonism, etc.)  
  • Management of dysphagia in patients with dementia and cognitive/communication loss  
  • Neurogenic dysphagia management  
  • Aerophagia evaluation and treatment  
  • Pharmacological, surgical, and other non-behavioral interventions for dysphagia  
  • Nutritional management/support of patients with dysphagia  
  • Palliative care and quality of life issues related to dysphagia  
  • Interprofessional and team issues related to the assessment and management of dysphagia  
  • Outcomes, efficacy, and effectiveness related to the treatment of dysphagia  
  • Professional education issues specific to persons with swallowing disorders  
  • Ethical issues specific to dysphagia  
  • Complex medical issues and swallowing function in adults from ICU across all care settings  
  • Education, training and supervision issues specific to swallowing and associated disorders  
  • Administrative, legislative and regulatory issues related to dysphagia  
  • Technology as it relates to swallowing and swallowing disorders (e.g., mobile applications, devices, software)
  • Innovative service delivery models for adult swallowing through telepractice technology

Related Topics

Proposals that include this topic but have a primary focus on:  

  • Swallowing disorders associated with head, neck and esophageal cancers should be submitted to the Head and Neck Cancer Issues topic area.  
  • Swallowing and feeding disorders from birth to 18 years of age should be submitted to the Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing topic area.  
  • Swallowing and feeding disorders as a result of craniofacial disorders should be submitted to the Craniofacial and Velopharyngeal Disorders topic area.  
  • Feeding and swallowing disorders associated with myofunctional disorders should be submitted to Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing topic area.  
  • Speech disorders associated with orofacial myofunctional disorders should be submitted to Speech Sound Disorders in Children With Normal Hearing.  
  • Tracheostomy and ventilator dependence in adults with impacts on laryngeal and voice function should be submitted to the Voice and Upper Airway Issues topic area.
  • Cultural considerations, health disparities and access to services related to adult swallowing should be submitted to the Equity, Inclusion and Influence of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity topic area.

About ASHA

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for members and affiliates who are audiologists, speech-language pathologists, speech, language, and hearing scientists, audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel, and students.

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The ASHA Convention is one of the largest professional development events for audiologists; speech-language pathologists; and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Bringing together approximately 15,000 attendees, the annual Convention offers more than 2,500 sessions eligible for ASHA continuing education credit covering the latest research, clinical skills, and techniques in communication sciences and disorders.

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