Prevalence and management of dysphagia in nursing home residents in Europe and Israel: the SHELTER Project

TitlePrevalence and management of dysphagia in nursing home residents in Europe and Israel: the SHELTER Project
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsDell'Aquila G., Peladic N.J, Nunziata V., Fedecostante M., Salvi F., Carrieri B., Liperoti R., Carfi A., Eusebi P., Onder G., Orlandoni P., Cherubini A.
JournalBMC geriatrics
ISBN Number1471-2318 (electronic)<br/>1471-2318
Accession Number638893823
Keywords*dysphagia/di [Diagnosis], *dysphagia/ep [Epidemiology], *dysphagia/th [Therapy], *nursing home, Aged, body weight loss, daily life activity, Europe, Human, Israel, Prevalence

BACKGROUND: Dysphagia is a frequent condition in older nursing home residents (NHRs) which may cause malnutrition and death. Nevertheless, its prevalence is still underestimated and there is still debate about the appropriateness and efficacy of artificial nutrition (AN) in subjects with severe dysphagia. The aim is to assess the prevalence of dysphagia in European and Israeli NHRs, its association with mortality, and the relationship of different nutritional interventions, i.e. texture modified diets and AN-with weight loss and mortality. METHOD(S): A prospective observational study of 3451 European and Israeli NHRs older than 65 years, participating in the SHELTER study from 2009 to 2011, at baseline and after 12 months. All residents underwent a standardized comprehensive evaluation using the interRAI Long Term Care Facility (LTCF). Cognitive status was assessed using the Cognitive Performance Scale (CPS), functional status using Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Hierarchy scale. Trained staff assessed dysphagia at baseline by clinical observation. Data on weight loss were collected for all participants at baseline and after 12 months. Deaths were registered by NH staff. RESULT(S): The prevalence of dysphagia was 30.3%. During the one-year follow-up, the mortality rate in subjects with dysphagia was significantly higher compared with that of non-dysphagic subjects (31.3% vs 17.0%,p=0,001). The multivariate analysis showed that NHRs with dysphagia had 58.0% higher risk of death within 1 year compared with non-dysphagic subjects (OR 1.58, 95% CI, 1.31-1.91). The majority of NHRs with dysphagia were prescribed texture modified diets (90.6%), while AN was used in less than 10% of subjects. No statistically significant difference was found concerning weight loss and mortality after 12 months following the two different nutritional treatments. CONCLUSION(S): Dysphagia is prevalent among NHRs and it is associated with increased mortality, independent of the nutritional intervention used. Noticeably, after 12 months of nutritional intervention, NHRs treated with AN had similar mortality and weight loss compared to those who were treated with texture modified diets, despite the clinical conditions of patients on AN were more compromised.Copyright © 2022. The Author(s).