Rebecca AffooPhD

Assistant Professor

Affoo, Rebecca 12102021

Phone: 902-494-5154
Fax: 902-494-5151
Mailing Address: 
PO Box 15000, 5850 College Street, 2nd Floor, Room 2C01 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2


Dr. Rebecca Affoo is a Speech-Language Pathologist and an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Dalhousie University. Her research is focused on advancing understanding of the interrelationships between salivary secretion, oral health, and oropharyngeal swallowing to inform the development of novel therapies for remediating eating and swallowing in older adults to maintain adequate nutritional intake, decrease the risk of developing morbidities such as aspiration pneumonia and conditions such as frailty, and improve quality of life. She is also passionate about evidence-based education and student learning.


  • BHSc, Health Science, University of Western Ontario
  • MClSc, Speech-Language Pathology, University of Western Ontario
  • PhD, Health and Rehabilitation, University of Western Ontario

Research Interests

  • Age-related changes to oral health, eating, and swallowing
  • Eating and swallowing, oral health, communication, and frailty
  • Eating and swallowing rehabilitation
  • Evidence-based education in the health professions


  • CMSD 6390: Voice/Resonance Disorders
  • CMSD 6450: Speech Disorders–Adults
  • CMSD 6612: Dysphagia

Selected Publications

  • Affoo, R.H., Nellenbach, C., Chomchai, J., & Rogus-Pulia, N. (2023). The effects of endoscope placement in the hypopharynx on swallowing-related measures in healthy adults. European archives of oto-rhino-laryngology 10.1007/s00405-023- 08114-6. Advance online publication. 08114-6
  • Namasivayam-MacDonald, A., Lam, B., Ma, J., Affoo, R.H. (2023) Prevalence, Incidence, and Predictors of Self-reported Swallowing Difficulties in Community- Dwelling Adults: A Population-Based Study from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA). Dysphagia, 10.1007/s00455-023-10570-5. Advance online publication.
  • Affoo, R.H., Cliffe Polacco, R., Lam, B., Ma, J., Steele, C.M., Namasivayam- MacDonald, A. (accepted) Dysphagia and oral health concerns in long-term care. CJSLPA
  • Robison, R., Garand, K., Affoo, R.H., Yeh, C.K., Chin, N., McArthur, C., Pulia, M., Rogus-Pulia, N. (2022) New Horizons in Understanding Oral Health and Swallowing Function in the Context of Frailty. Age and Ageing.
  • Affoo, R.H. & Hachey, S. (2022) Integrating oral health in speech-language pathology practice: A viewpoint. Perspectives SIG 13.
  • Affoo, R.H., Bruner, J., Dietsch, A., Nellenbach, C., Jones, T., & Lehman, M. (in press). The impact of active learning in a speech-language pathology swallowing and dysphagia course. Teaching and Learning in Communication Sciences and Disorders.
  • Douglas, N.F. & Affoo, R.H. (2018) Certified Nursing Assistants Want to Use External Memory Aids for Residents with Dementia: Survey Results within an Implementation Science Framework. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 28(2):591-598. doi: 10.1044/2018_AJSLP-18-0118
  • Affoo, R.H., Trottier, K., Garrick, R., Mascarenhas, T., Su Jang, Y., Martin, R.E. (2018) The effects of tooth brushing on whole salivary flow rates in healthy older adults. BioMed Research International, 3904139. doi:10.1155/2018/3904139
  • Ho, A.K., Affoo, R.H., Rogus-Pulia, N., Nicosia, M., Inamoto, Y., Saitoh, E., Green, S., Fels, S. (2017) Inferring the effects of saliva on liquid bolus flow using computer simulation. Computers in Biology and Medicine 89:304-313.doi:10.1016/j.compbiomed.2017.07.014
  • Foley, N.C., Affoo, R.H., Siqueira, W., Martin, R.E. (2017) A systematic review examining the oral health status of persons with dementia. Journal of Dental Research – Clinical and Translational Research 2(4):330-342.
  • Toogood, J.A., Smith, R.C., Stevens, T.K., Gati, J.S., Menon, R.S., Theurer, J., Weisz, S., Affoo, R.H., Martin, R.E. (2017) Swallowing preparation and execution: Insights from a delayed-response functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study. Dysphagia 32(4):526-541. PMID: 28361202
  • Affoo, R.H., Foley, N., Garrick, R., Siqueira, W.L., Martin, R.E. (2015) A meta-analysis of salivary flow rates in young and older adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 63(10): 2142-51. doi:10.1111/jgs.13652 PMID: 26456531
  • Abe, K., Weisz, S.E.M., Dunn, R.L., DiGioacchino, M.C., Nyentap, J.A., Stanbouly, S., Theurer, J.A., Bureau, Y., Affoo, R.H., Martin, R.E. (2015) Occurrences of yawn and swallow are temporally related. Dysphagia 30(1): 57-66. doi:10.1007/s00455-014-9573-2 PMID: 25240300
  • Foley, N., Affoo, R.H., Martin, R.E. (2014) A systematic review and meta-analysis examining pneumonia-associated mortality in dementia. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders 39: 52-67. doi:10.1159/000367783 PMID: 25342272
  • Affoo, R.H., Foley, N., Rosenbek, J., Shoemaker, J.K., Martin, R.E. (2013) Swallowing dysfunction and autonomic nervous system dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease: A scoping review of the evidence. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 61(12): 2203-2213. doi:10.1111/jgs.12553 PMID: 24329892