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South African Journal of Communication Disorders

On-line version ISSN 2225-4765
Print version ISSN 0379-8046


COUTTS, Kim A.. Dysphagia services in the era of COVID-19: Are speech-language therapists essential?. S. Afr. J. Commun. Disord. [online]. 2020, vol.67, n.1, pp.1-6. ISSN 2225-4765.

In the era of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), many healthcare professionals are being faced with the question of what is considered to be an essential service. This opinion paper has attempted to answer this complex question by understanding the potential relationship between dysphagia and COVID-19 and how speech-language therapists (SLTs) in South Africa should tackle this. It also aims to answer the question through the lens of a risk-benefit discussion based around practices and decision-making. Important gaps in the field relating to how SLT practices need to move forward during this challenging time have also been highlighted. Reflective questions that can assist SLTs when seeing dysphagia cases have been provided.

Keywords : dysphagia; COVID-19; essential services; speech language therapy; swallowing.

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