Background Dysphagia is a symptom whose prevalence can be higher than 30% in the older. It is related to higher disability, longer hospital stay and more malnutrition and mortality. The Eating Assessment Tool (EAT-10) is a practical, analogical and easy dysphagia evaluation instrument.
Purpose Determine the prevalence of dysphagia in the older. Evaluate if it was previously detected by the physician and if he established corrective actions. Assess the nutritional status in patients with dysphagia.
Materials and methods 50 patients, 18 male and 32 female, were randomly selected in an older patient unit. Medium age was 78. Dysphagia was measured with EAT-10, a 10 question questionnaire (each scored from 0 to 4). If total score is ≥3, dysphagia may be present. The type of diet as well as gelatin and thickeners intake was registered. Nutritional status was assessed by CONUT (COntrol NUTritional) system. Unlike Nutritional Risk Screening (NRS-2002) which is a screening tool based on weight loss, Body Mass Index, food intake diminution and disease severity, CONUT is an automatic validated tool that classifies nutritional status in normal, mild, moderate or serious malnutrition, based on serum albumin, cholesterol and lymphocytes.
Results EAT-10 was ≥3 in 10 patients (20%) (mean =11,7; range 3-31). Average realisation time was 4 min. Four patients (40%) with EAT-10 ≥3 had corrective actions. All had crushed diet, and 3 had thickeners. None had gelatins. Eight patients out of ten with dysphagia had malnutrition (5 mild, 3 moderate). All patients with moderate malnutrition had nutritional supplements.
Conclusions 20% of patients had dysphagia, but only 40% had corrective actions. Malnutrition prevalence was high (80%) in patients with dysphagia. EAT-10 is an easy and fast dysphagia detecting scale and could avoid malnutrition and other associated problems. So, it would be advisable its routine realisation in older so that corrective actions are established.
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