Understanding the normal oesophageal stage of swallowing and being able to identify the signs/ symptoms of oesophageal dysphagia versus oropharyngeal dysphagia are important skills for a speech-language therapist (SLT) working with people with dysphagia. However, it is often not an area of clinical practice that SLTs feel confident.

By the end of this e-learning you should feel more confident about the signs/ symptoms of oesophageal dysphagia, be able to recognise normal versus abnormal oesophageal swallowing on VFSS and be confident in whom to refer to if you see something abnormal.

The participant will be able to:

  • Recognise normal oesophageal clearance of a liquid bolus across the adult lifespan
  • Describe the importance of screening the oesophagus in an SLT-led videofluoroscopy procedure
  • Describe the components of a standard oesophageal screen
  • Recognise abnormal oesophageal clearance and report abnormal findings

Writers and Contributors

Anna Miles PhD. - Bio

Dr Anna Miles graduated from University College London in the 1990s. She has been working in New Zealand since 2000. Anna has worked with people with swallowing difficulties across the lifespan in hospital, outpatient and domiciliary settings. Anna completed her PhD in cough reflex testing at Canterbury University and now leads a productive dysphagia research programme at The University of Auckland. She has been working at The University of Auckland since 2010, teaching dysphagia in the classroom as well as in a range of clinical settings. Anna continues to work clinically alongside her teaching and research roles in both the hospital and an otorhinolaryngology outpatient clinic. Anna provides specialist teaching in videofluoroscopic study of swallowing, endoscopic evaluation of swallowing, surface electromyography and tracheostomy management.

Dr. Jacqui Allen

Thank you to Dr. Jacqui Allen, Consultant ORL Surgeon - Waitemata DHB / AucklandENT Group. Dr. Allen specialises in dysphagia and she researches and works clinically in this area. Dr. Allen has provided the overview of the anatomy and physiology of the oesophagus as well as an overview of oesophageal pathology for this e-learning module.

Estimated Course Time:

3 hours

Note: You will have four months from the date of enrollment to complete this course. You may log in and out of the course as many times as you wish during this time.


$86.25 for members
$172.50 non-members




Prices: All prices listed include GST

Membership LevelPrice
NZSTA Member $86.25
Non-members $172.50

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