REHA 3046 Optimising Mealtimes Across the Lifespan

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 401424

Coordinator Rebecca Smith Opens in new window

Description This subject discusses theoretical and evidence-based approaches to assessment and management of a diverse range of swallowing disorders in infants, children and adults. Students will have opportunities to interpret and synthesise assessment findings and create management plans to optimise mealtime experiences by exploring cases that address the needs of individuals with swallowing disorders, their families and communities. Students will plan and implement core speech pathology assessment and therapy skills, related to swallowing and mealtime management through observation and practice. Evidence-based, interdisciplinary and holistic approaches to swallowing and mealtime management will be integrated during this subject.

School Health Sciences

Discipline Speech Pathology

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Pre-requisite(s) REHA 1006 AND
REHA 2016


Students must be enrolled in the 4763 Bachelor of Speech Pathology or 4764 Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours)

Assumed Knowledge

Students are expected to have acquired introductory knowledge and skills in speech pathology practice before undertaking this subject. Students will be expected to have knowledge of the anatomical, neurological, physiological, cognitive, and perceptual bases of swallowing and mealtimes and understand typical and atypical development and changes  in swallowing function across the lifespan.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Integrate knowledge of core anatomical, physiological and neurological factors that impact swallowing development and functioning, with clinical information, to formulate appropriate assessment approaches for infants, children and adults.
  2. Synthesise and analyse case information, clinical and instrumental assessment data, to inform swallowing diagnosis and prognosis for individuals presenting with a swallowing disorder
  3. Implement principles of Evidence-based Practice (EBP) and knowledge of the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) Framework to develop well-reasoned mealtime management plans with individuals, families and carers
  4. Conduct an independent Oral-Motor Assessment,(OMA) within a structured clinical setting, at developing level competency.
  5. Employ interdisciplinary communication and model swallowing and management strategies within a structured clinical setting, at developing level of competence
  6. Critically reflect on the ethical and legal responsibilities of speech pathologists working with individuals who have swallowing disorders

Subject Content

1. Anatomy, physiology and neurology of swallowing in infants, children and adults
4. Clinical decision making to inform diagnosis, prognosis and management for intervention for infants, children and adults with diverse swallowing disorders
5. Planning evidence-based intervention for children and adults with swallowing disorders including oral hygiene, dentition, saliva management, sensory issues, compensatory and rehabilitation strategies, and non-oral nutrition and hydration
6. Interprofessional team approaches to enhance swallowing and mealtime experiences for children and adults
7. Responsive mealtime management of children and adults with complex clinical, psychosocial and environmental issues
2. Clinical (e.g., protocols, screening) and instrumental (e.g. Video Fluroscopic Swallowing Study, Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallow) approaches to swallowing assessment
3. Applying theoretical frameworks (e.g., International Classification of Functioning, Disability & Health) and evidence-based approaches to identify and manage issues involving each phase of swallowing to facilitate safe, enjoyable mealtimes

Special Requirements

Legislative pre-requisites

First Aid Certificate.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Simulation 1 hour 40 N Individual
Presentation 10 minutes 30 N Individual
Case Study 1,500 words 30 Y Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Groher, M., & Crary, M. A. (2020). Dysphagia. Clinical Management in adults and children. (3rd. ed.). Elsevier

Teaching Periods

Autumn (2024)



Subject Contact Belinda Kenny Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window