The adaptation of the Leeds Post-Extubation Dysphagia Screen: Lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic

Claire S. Mills, Emilia Michou, Andrea Hanratty, Abby Gibson, Mark C. Bellamy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Post-extubation dysphagia (PED) can have serious consequences for critically unwell patients. COVID-19 has resulted in an increasing need for a PED screen in order to effectively identify patients and mitigate risk, whilst balancing under-resourced services. Online training provides the advantage of reducing time pressures on staff and supporting social distancing. This project aimed to adapt the Leeds Post-Extubation Dysphagia Screen (L-PEDS) and the associated training package to be more suitable and effective for use during COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: The screen was modified to a digital format with additional guidance for users. The training package was shortened and converted to an online package while keeping the interactive mode of training. Results: Preliminary results of 14 staff members indicate that the median confidence levels for screening patients for PED improved from 5 to 8 (on a scale of 0 to 10) after completing the L-PEDS-COVID training package. Likewise, knowledge of PED improved from a median of 4 to 8 (on a scale of 0 to 10). Training quality was rated at a median of 8 on a scale of 0 to 10 (0 being very poor; 10 being very good). Conclusions: Preliminary evidence demonstrated increased knowledge of PED and confidence in screening. The development of an adapted version of the L-PEDS and online training package may allow easier implementation of post-extubation dysphagia screening. This could help to compensate for insufficient speech and language therapy critical care staffing, assist in identifying patients at risk and improve outcomes by enabling earlier and safe resumption of oral intake.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Intensive Care Society
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2021


  • aspiration
  • coronavirus
  • dysphagia
  • extubation
  • Post-extubation dysphagia
  • screening
  • swallowing


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