Association Between Oropharyngeal Dysphagia and Malnutrition in Dutch Nursing Home Residents: Results of the National Prevalence Measurement of Quality of Care

Viviënne A.L. Huppertz*, Ruud J.G. Halfens, Ardy van Helvoort, C.P.G.M. de Groot, L.W.J. Baijens, J.M.G.A. Schols

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Nursing home residents often suffer from multi-morbidities and geriatric syndromes leading to lower quality of life or mortality. Oropharyngeal dysphagia (OD) and malnutrition are profound conditions in this complex profile of multi-morbidities and are associated with deprived mental –and physical health status, e.g. aspiration pneumonia or dehydration. This study aimed to assess the association between OD and malnutrition in Dutch nursing home residents. Design: Data for this cross-sectional study were obtained from the annual National Prevalence Measurement of Quality of Care (LPZ). Setting: The National Prevalence Measurement of Quality of Care was conducted in Nursing Homes in The Netherlands. Participants: Participants were nursing home residents age 65 or older and admitted to psychogeriatric- or somatic wards. Measurements: The measurements were taken by trained nurses from the participating nursing homes. Anthropometric measurements and unintended weight loss (%) were assessed to determine nutritional status (malnutrition). OD was assessed by means of a standardized questionnaire assessing clinically relevant symptoms of OD such as swallowing problems or sneezing/coughing while swallowing. Cox regression was applied to assess the association between malnutrition and clinically relevant symptoms of OD in older Dutch nursing home residents. Results: Approximately 12% of the residents suffered from swallowing problems and 7% sneezed/coughed while swallowing liquids or solid foods. Approximately 10% of the residents was malnourished. Residents with OD symptoms were more often malnourished compared to residents without OD symptoms. Approximately 17% of the problematic swallowers were concurrently malnourished. Increased risk for malnutrition was found in residents suffering from swallowing problems (PR 1.5, 95%CI 1.2–1.9), as well as in residents that sneezed/ coughed while swallowing (PR 1.3, 95%CI 1.0–1.7). Stratification based on wards revealed that problematic swallowers from somatic wards were at a high risk of malnutrition (PR 1.9, 95%CI 1.3–2.8). Conclusion: Clinically relevant symptoms of oropharyngeal dysphagia, such as swallowing problems and sneezing/coughing while swallowing are associated with increased risk of malnutrition in psychogeriatric and somatic Dutch nursing home residents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1246–1252
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Volume22
Issue number10
Early online date27 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

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