Upper airway disorders within adult respiratory services – evidence and research
A summary of evidence and research relating to upper airway disorders within adult respiratory services and the role of speech and language therapy.
Last updated: November 2021
Research relating to upper airway disorders remains in the embryonic state. Understanding on the mechanistic drivers, epidemiological profiles, optimal evaluation techniques and targeted treatment modalities remain largely unknown. Development of standardised assessment and treatment algorithms is therefore limited and based on clinical consensus rather than quality evidence.
The speech and language therapy workforce can make a significant contribution in developing a more robust evidence base and improve the quality of care provided. Collaborative working with MDT colleagues to support and lead research agendas is recommended. Research and innovation within the field should focus on the benefit speech and language therapy can make to the management of upper airway disorders.
SLTs should be active in continually appraising the impact of the role of speech and language therapy in upper airway disorders within respiratory services. Regular audits, service evaluation or quality improvement projects are recommended.
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