Prevalence of Dysphagia in People with Intellectual Disability: A Systematic Review


The purpose of this study is to summarize international research that has been conducted on the prevalence of dysphagia in people with intellectual disabilities.


The authors reviewed studies that were published from 1990 to July 2016. The studies were identified through using databases including Medline, Cinahl, PsyINFO, and Web of Science. Further information was obtained through email requests and cross-citations.

Through this method, twenty studies were identified. The study selection required that the studies were peer reviewed, and samples of people where at least 50% had an intellectual disability


  • Dysphagia is common in people with an intellectual disability and my be under-recognized.
  • Improved recognition and management of dysphagia may reduce the occurrence of associated health conditions and reduce hospital admissions and premature death
  • Organizations that are providing services and supports to individuals with an intellectual disability need access to resources that provide comprehensive information on topics relating to dysphagia.



Robert, J.; Chadwick, D.; Baines, S.; Emerson, E.; Hatton, C. (2017). Prevalence of Dysphagia in People with Intellectual Disability: A Systematic Review. American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. 55(6). 377-391