Indicators of dysphagia in aged care facilities

Debbie Pu, Thomas Murry, May Wong, Edwin Yiu, Karen Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2416-2426
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes

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