World Swallowing Day

ESSD World Swallowing Day Survey, 12-16 December 2016

The European Society for Swallowing Disorders, ESSD, participates in World Swallowing Day by conducting a short survey to collect data on how many patients are screened/assessed for oropharyngeal dysphagia, what screening/assessment tools are used, what type of patients are screened and how oropharyngeal dysphagia is reported. In addition to collecting useful information on screening and diagnosis, ESSD promotes the use of ICD codes for dysphagia in medical reports, to increase the visibility of the condition.

This year, 2016, the survey will be carried out from 12-16 December, and has been translated into Spanish.

ESSD World Swallowing Day Survey 2015

Many thanks to everyone who answered the ESSD World Swallowing Day Survey dedicated to the use of ICD codes for dysphagia in medical reports. The results graphic summary, results by country and the list of participants with clinic, town and country are available below.

As a third edition and on short notice it is a good response. 148 people from 36 countries answered the survey and screened and assessed 1944 patients for dysphagia. Of those, 1349 were positive for dysphagia, 1206 of whom were reported as having oropharyngeal dysphagia but only 543 had the ICD codes for dysphagia on their medical report.

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) of the World Health Organization is described in the following way on their website:

"The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is the standard diagnostic tool for epidemiology, health management and clinical purposes. This includes the analysis of the general health situation of population groups. It is used to monitor the incidence and prevalence of diseases and other health problems, proving a picture of the general health situation of countries and populations.

ICD is used by physicians, nurses, other providers, researchers, health information managers and coders, health information technology workers, policy-makers, insurers and patient organizations to classify diseases and other health problems recorded on many types of health and vital records, including death certificates and health records. In addition to enabling the storage and retrieval of diagnostic information for clinical, epidemiological and quality purposes, these records also provide the basis for the compilation of national mortality and morbidity statistics by WHO Member States. Finally, ICD is used for reimbursement and resource allocation decision-making by countries."

Using the ICD codes for dysphagia is a simple way of drawing attention to the condition.


World Swallowing Day

The purpose of World Swallowing Day is to have a worldwide awareness campaign directed at health care professionals as well as the public to increase knowledge about normal swallowing and swallowing disorders, their causes, early detection, complications and management.

The European Society for Swallowing Disorders, ESSD, designed a short survey to collect data about how many patients are screened/assessed for oropharyngeal dysphagia during the week of (8-12 December) and how many health care professionals use the ICD codes for dysphagia in their medical reports.

World Swallowing Day was initiated on December 12, 2011 by Ass.Prof. Mohamed Farahat (MD, PhD) from the Research Chair of Voice, Swallowing, and Communication Disorders (RCVASD), King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The Union of European Phoniatricians (UEP) joined WSD in 2013 and it was celebrated with activities in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Dubai and Germany.

The ESSD started to work towards having a Dysphagia Day also in 2011, with a pilot survey on screening and assessment for oropharyngeal dysphagia. Talks were held with dysphagia associations from Canada, Brazil and Japan with the intention of making it a global movement recognized by WHO.

We are now working towards merging these two initiatives with a common purpose under the banner World Swallowing Day.