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J Nurs Res. 2012 Dec;20(4):272-80. doi: 10.1097/jnr.0b013e31827364ec.

Nonimaging clinical assessment of impaired swallowing in community-dwelling older adults in Taiwan.

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1
Department of Nursing, School of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Impaired swallowing is common in elderly patients as well as those with neurological disorders and degenerative diseases. Convenient and accurate assessments should be available to community-dwelling older adults to diagnose and provide early management and care of swallowing difficulties, an important factor of influence on elderly life quality.

PURPOSE:

This study used convenient nonimaging methods to assess swallowing functions in community-dwelling older adults and estimated the prevalence of swallowing difficulties.

METHODS:

The study adopted a survey method and recruited 216 community-dwelling older adults over 65 years old in northern Taiwan. Researchers used tools including a swallowing test, questionnaire, water test, peripheral arterial pulse oximeter, and laryngeal S-EMG to assess participant swallowing functions and the prevalence of impaired swallowing.

RESULTS:

We found a 9.5% prevalence of impaired swallowing based on swallow questionnaire and water test results. Age correlated negatively with swallowing speed. A one-way ANOVA showed a significant difference in swallowing speed among the four age groups (F = 6.478, p < .00). A post hoc Scheffe comparison showed significant differences in swallowing time between the 60- to 69- and 70- to 79-year-old groups and 60- to 69- and 80- to 89-year-old groups. Multiple regression of impaired swallowing on various independent variables showed a significant standardized coefficient of 0.163 for age (t = 2.328, p = .021). Logistic regression showed a significant Wals test value for age (p = .007). The Kappa value was 0.307 for agreement analysis between impaired swallowing and SaO(2) value reduction of more than 2%.

CONCLUSIONS/IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:

Swallowing function deteriorates with age. Results of this study provide an assessment of the prevalence of impaired swallowing in community-dwelling older adults in Taiwan. Results can help guide clinical nurses to enhance their objective assessment of impaired swallowing to improve patient quality of life.

PMID:
23154438
DOI:
10.1097/jnr.0b013e31827364ec
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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