Healthcare professionals caring for patients with dysphagia (swallowing difficulties) now have access to a new and comprehensive online resource called 'Medicines Optimisation in Patients with Dysphagia' (www.dysphagia-‐medicine.com/).
Researched and developed by the School of Pharmacy, Keele University, the website provides practical guidance on the administration of medicines to patients with dysphagia and summarises up to date evidence and research. It includes links to additional tools, publications, guidelines and educational materials; all content is fully referenced.
Professor Stephen Chapman, Professor of Prescribing Studies at Keele University said, "As the population ages, patients with swallowing difficulties will present more frequently.This website aims to help health care professionals and patients alike by
providing easy to access information on both the condition and the medicines available in a format that prescribers and their patients can use together or independently."
The site, which is supported by an unrestricted grant from Rosemont Pharmaceuticals, covers subjects in depth including Dysphagia, the Assessment & Management of Patients, Medicine Administration, Unlicensed Medicines, Specials, Tablet Splitting and Imported Products. A 'search' function: 'Find alternatives to solid dose medications', gives instant access to information about the available formats of medications, which will prove invaluable for pharmacists.
It has been estimated that 35-68% of older patients have some degree of swallowing dysfunction (1,2) which impacts on their quality of life and the administration of their medication (3,4). As the growing older population already accounts for one third of the UK's prescribing volume (5), dysphagia is becoming an increasingly significant problem in terms of medicine administration and therapy.