Indicators of Dysphagia in Aged Care Facilities Purpose The current cross-sectional study aimed to investigate risk factors for dysphagia in elderly individuals in aged care facilities. Method A total of 878 individuals from 42 aged care facilities were recruited for this study. The dependent outcome was speech therapist-determined swallowing function. Independent factors were Eating Assessment ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 18, 2017
Indicators of Dysphagia in Aged Care Facilities
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Dai Pu
    Swallowing Research Laboratory, Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam
  • Thomas Murry
    Voice and Swallowing Center, Loma Linda University, Redlands, CA
  • May C. M. Wong
    Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam
  • Edwin M. L. Yiu
    Swallowing Research Laboratory, Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam
  • Karen M. K. Chan
    Swallowing Research Laboratory, Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Dai Pu: u3002857@hku.hk and Karen M. K. Chan: karencmk@hku.hk
  • Editor: Julie Liss
    Editor: Julie Liss×
  • Associate Editor: Catriona Steele
    Associate Editor: Catriona Steele×
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 18, 2017
Indicators of Dysphagia in Aged Care Facilities
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 2017, Vol. 60, 2416-2426. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-17-0028
History: Received January 23, 2017 , Revised March 13, 2017 , Accepted March 29, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 2017, Vol. 60, 2416-2426. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-17-0028
History: Received January 23, 2017; Revised March 13, 2017; Accepted March 29, 2017

Purpose The current cross-sectional study aimed to investigate risk factors for dysphagia in elderly individuals in aged care facilities.

Method A total of 878 individuals from 42 aged care facilities were recruited for this study. The dependent outcome was speech therapist-determined swallowing function. Independent factors were Eating Assessment Tool score, oral motor assessment score, Mini-Mental State Examination, medical history, and various functional status ratings. Binomial logistic regression was used to identify independent variables associated with dysphagia in this cohort.

Results Two statistical models were constructed. Model 1 used variables from case files without the need for hands-on assessment, and Model 2 used variables that could be obtained from hands-on assessment. Variables positively associated with dysphagia identified in Model 1 were male gender, total dependence for activities of daily living, need for feeding assistance, mobility, requiring assistance walking or using a wheelchair, and history of pneumonia. Variables positively associated with dysphagia identified in Model 2 were Mini-Mental State Examination score, edentulousness, and oral motor assessments score.

Conclusions Cognitive function, dentition, and oral motor function are significant indicators associated with the presence of swallowing in the elderly. When assessing the frail elderly, case file information can help clinicians identify frail elderly individuals who may be suffering from dysphagia.

Acknowledgments
The current study was supported by the Public Policy Research funding scheme from the Central Policy Unit of the Hong Kong Government (project code HKU7031-PPR-12), awarded to the fourth author, Prof. Edwin M. L. Yiu.
This study was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee at the University of Hong Kong under the reference numbers EA140411 and EA1503046.
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