Informed Consent for the Dysphagia Patient in Rehabilitation and Palliative Care


The Medical Doctor is ultimately responsible for obtaining written informed consent, but allied health professionals, including the Dysphagia Therapist, are expected to provide specialized counseling. Many therapists feel unprepared for this task. How much information is enough? When is the Patient a rehab candidate? What if the Patient refuses traditional recommendations? Basic legal concepts including the elements of informed consent are covered in this course. 

Specific instruction is given to the dysphagia therapist so that realistic options for rehabilitation or palliative care are offered as indicated by a thorough analysis of risks and benefits. 

Course Level: Intermediate – Participant should have previous knowledge and experience with dysphagia management, especially with elders in long term care setting

Teaching Methods: This reader-friendly text has live web links to up-to-date sites, a useful reference list, glossary, practical activities with discussion board participation, and a final exam with an 80% minimum passing requirement. 

Course Goal: Participants will be able to use the elements of informed consent to counsel elderly dysphagia patients. Participants will also learn that offering realistic palliative vs. rehabilitative goals will aid patients in decision-making. 

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this interactive online course, the Learner will be able to:

  • Counsel the dysphagia patient using the elements of Informed Consent 
  • Offer realistic goals to assist the Patient’s decision-making 
  • Instruct caregivers regarding palliative feeding techniques 
  • List risks of traditional dysphagia treatment techniques, including tube feeding 
  • Use the MDS to provide supportive documentation in dysphagia management

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