Perceptions of psychological issues related to dysphagia differ in acute and chronic patients

Dysphagia. 2010 Mar;25(1):26-34. doi: 10.1007/s00455-009-9225-0. Epub 2009 Aug 6.


The objectives of this study were (1) to compare and contrast the psychological issues perceived by patients with oropharyngeal dysphagia and explore if the differences relate to recovery trajectory, and (2) to determine whether patients, caregivers, and clinicians had different perceptions of how psychological issues interacted with the lung and nutrition issues as consequences of dysphagia. Two focus groups (one each of acute and chronic patients) were conducted with a total of 8 participants. Four focus groups (3 with clinicians and 1 with caregivers) were also conducted. Through the constant comparison method of grounded theory, the differences in perceptions between acute and chronic patients with dysphagia as well as clinicians and caregivers were explored using theoretical sampling. Two themes evolved: (1) acute and chronic patients differed on how they perceived and prioritized major psychological dimensions; (2) acute patients, chronic patients, caregivers, and clinicians varied in their perceptions of how psychological issues interacted with lung and nutrition issues. The qualitative methodology was successful in identifying contrasting opinions on psychological issues of dysphagia between acute and chronic patients, which differ from the perspectives of clinicians and caregivers. It is important for treating clinicians to be aware of psychological issues, to address them according to the patients' clinical recovery, and to consider the interplay between psychological and biomedical consequences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Deglutition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Deglutition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Fear
  • Humans