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Dysphagia Assessment & Treatment

The goal of the Dysphagia Assessment and Treatment Network is to help define, expand and secure the dietitian’s role in the assessment, management and treatment of dysphagia within the health care team and to promote sharing of expertise and resources to build capacity within Canadian dietitians.  

Dysphagia has significant potential to lead to decreased oral intake and malnutrition. As such, dietitians should have a good understanding of dysphagia screening, assessment and management strategies. Dietitians should have a thorough understanding of medical conditions associated with swallow dysfunction and iatrogenic causes of dysphagia. Dietitians should know the signs and symptoms of dysphagia and be able to identify those at risk in their client population. When patients/ residents etc…are considered to be at risk, dietitians should have the knowledge and skills required to competently complete a clinical bedside swallowing assessment in order to identify the specific swallowing issues and develop and appropriate management plan. If a dietitian has access to equipment for instrumental examination of swallowing, they should at the very least, participate in these swallowing assessments with other trained professionals.  Dietitians should also have a good understanding of best-practice strategies for managing swallowing dysfunction- safe swallowing strategies, texture modifications, etc…

Who should join this network? 
The Dysphagia Assessment and Treatment Network is intended to support Dietitians working in Dysphagia Management, by providing relevant, up-to-date, evidence- based information and resources. We have a wealth of dysphagia-related resources on the network website, including swallow assessment reporting forms, oral hygiene best practices, dysphagia assessment and management presentations, safe-swallowing strategies guidelines, texture modified product information and recipes, and much, much more. We continually add resources as we become aware of them.'

Benefits of membership
 The Dysphagia Assessment and Treatment Network website is also a great forum for sharing information and asking clinical questions of those with more dysphagia experience.  If you are new to the practice of dysphagia and are looking for support and mentorship, the DAT-network website is a great place to start. Ask questions on our “Coast to coast” message board, acquire resources from our ever-growing number of “Files” and find dietitians with dysphagia expertise in your area by using the “Members” tab.
Leadership Team
Diedre Burns - Co-Chair (Clinical Practice)
Lisa Slauenwhite - Co-Chair (Education)
Dawn VanEngelen - Ontario
Patrick Tremblay Sabourin - Manitoba/Saskatchewan
Kendal Cozicar - Alberta
Heather Love - Interior British Columbia
Owennie Lee - Coastal British Columbia

Cost: $28/year

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