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Normal, Safe, and Efficient Swallowing: Beyond the Semantics (PD102482)

Presenter(s): Ed M Bice, MEd, CCC-SLP; Alicia Kim Vose, PhD, CCC-SLP
Course Description

Clinicians who practice dysphagia management can easily generate a mental image of a “normal” swallow. Frequently, words such as “unsafe,” “inefficient,” or “at-risk” accompany images of swallows that deviate from normal. This session carefully examines the complexities and pitfalls of using these types of terms with patients, families, and/or medical providers. In particular, the speakers discuss how the SLP’s notion of what constitutes safety and efficiency can influence diet recommendations and treatment plans. This session tackles the complexities of the meaning behind the words and phrases that influence and underlie clinical decisions and how SLPs communicate them to patients and other stakeholders.

This course is a recorded session from the 2022 online conference “Controversies and Consensus in Dysphagia Management.”

Learning Outcomes
After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Explain the reason for using words that quantify swallowing behavior
  • Describe the variability of normal swallowing
  • Summarize what is known concerning safety and efficiency
  • Describe aspiration pneumonia
  • Distinguish between current practices and a reframed purpose


  • Reasons for using words that quantify swallowing behavior
  • "Normal" swallowing variability
  • Swallow and safety efficiency
  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Controversies in current practices 

Presenter Information

Ed M. Bice, MEd, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist currently working as a Clinical Consultant for IOPI Medical. He has experience in various settings, including acute care, outpatient, home health, and skilled nursing. He has held various leadership positions such as a Regional Manager, Vice President of Clinical Services, and Chief Operating Officer. Ed has been a guest on national and international dysphagia podcasts, written blogs concerning dysphagia and dysphagia-related topics for Dysphagia Café, and published in peer-reviewed journals. As adjunct faculty, he teaches the swallowing course at the University of Maryland. Ed has been an invited speaker for university, state, and national conventions on various topics.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Salary from IOPI Medical, LLC
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Alicia K. Vose, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Florida and Brooks Rehabilitation and has ~10 years of clinical experience specializing in dysphagia management in the acute care/ICU setting. She completed her PhD in Rehabilitation Science at University of Florida, where she investigated the role of kinematic biofeedback in dysphagia management and physiological mechanisms underlying normal and disordered airway protection. In her postdoctoral training, Dr. Vose maintains a strong commitment to clinical research and focuses on the development of rehabilitation strategies for impairments in swallowing and respiration. Currently, she is investigating the effects of acute intermittent hypoxia and respiratory strength training to enhance breathing and swallowing in individuals with neurologic injury as well as the effects of diaphragm stimulation on respiratory neural drive and function.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Salary from the University of Florida
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Assessment Type

Self-assessment—Think about what you learned and report on the Completion Form how you will use your new knowledge.

To earn continuing education credit, you must complete the learning assessment by April 30, 2027.

Program History and CE Information

Content origination date: March 2022
End date: April 30, 2027

This course is offered for 0.2 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).

Related Courses

View all courses from the Controversies and Consensus in Dysphagia Management online conference.

Subscribers Ratings
PDH: 2
ASHA CEU*: 0.2
Item #(s): PD102482
Available Through: April 30, 2027