4.1 Quality of life

Impact on quality of life 


Dysphagia is very distressing, particularly drooling, coughing and choking when trying to swallow saliva, food or drink.  It is vital to consider the social and psychological impact of swallowing problems.   These can range from embarrassment, through social isolation to depression.    

This section contains some practical resources and academic articles about the impact of dysphagia.  As such, this information is likely to be of interest to: 

·         Staff working in health and social care

·         Trainers delivering sessions about dysphagia

·         People with swallowing problems and their families and friends

·         Students studying health and social care.

Consult your psychologist, doctor, nurse or speech and language therapist about the psychological and social implications of dysphagia.   


On-line resources


The twitter account is Swallowing Matters@dysphagiaSY, see twitter

Stroke4Carers has a section about coping with stress, see here and about emotional needs, see link.

Health Talk On-line, a website where people share their experiences of different health care conditions, see link. 



Ekberg O et al (2002)  Social and psychological burden of dysphagia: its impact on diagnosis and treatment. Dysphagia 17, 139-46.  DOI: 10.1007/s00455-001-0113-5 

Heaven B et al (2013) Food work and feeding assistance on hospital wards.  Sociology of Health and Illness 35, 4, 628–642.  DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2012.01515.x

Hewetson  R & Singh S (2009) The Lived Experience of Mothers of Children with Chronic Feeding and/or Swallowing Difficulties.  Dysphagia  24, 322–332. DOI: 10.1007/s00455-009-9210-7