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Information and Patient Support



At the end of the session, the participant will have:

  • An understanding of the relationship between breathing and swallowing.
  • An understanding of the mechanism of aspiration and swallowing problems in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • The ability to follow swallowing safety guidelines.
  • An understanding of the importance of maximising respiratory function to maintain safe swallowing.
  • Improved knowledge of oral hygiene.



This session may be facilitated by a speech pathologist or respiratory nurse.





– Relationship between breathing and swallowing.
Normal breathing.

Normal swallowing.
Videofluroscopic swallowing study.

Better Living with COPD (Ch 16).

Swallowing and aspiration.How aspiration occurs.

Consequences of aspiration.

Identification of swallowing problems.
Breathing in COPD.Disruption in coordination.

Energy requirements.
Swallowing in COPD.Delayed swallow reflex.

Inhalation before / after swallowing.

Difficulty with apneoic stage.

Increased prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux.

Swallowing safety guidelines.Postural strategies.

Fatigue techniques and improved breathing.

Reflux precautions.

Texture modification.

Oral hygiene.
Summary and discussion.