Prevalence of and risk factors for dysphagia in the community dwelling elderly: A systematic review
- 749 Downloads
This review clarifies current information regarding the prevalence of and risk factors associated with dysphagia (swallowing disorders) in the community dwelling elderly (CDE). A better understanding of prevalence and characteristics of dysphagia in the CDE will help to determine the scope of this problem. Understanding the scope of dysphagia is a critical first step towards early identification, management, and prevention of dysphagia related morbidities in the CDE.
Studies identified from multiple electronic databases (MEDLINE (Pubmed), PsychInfo, Google Scholar, EBSCO, PROQUEST, Web of Science and WorldCat dissertations and theses) evaluating prevalence and risk factors for dysphagia in the CDE were reviewed. Data from all eligible studies were abstracted by the first author and independently reviewed by two raters, using the Newcastle-Ottawa scale (NOS).
15 studies (n = 9947 participants) were eligible for inclusion. Studies included were all observational: 14 cross-sectional and 1 prospective cohort. Significant heterogeneity was observed in methodology among studies of dysphagia in the CDE. The average NOS study quality rating was 4.54 points (SD: 0.9), with a mode of 4 points (range 3-6). Only 6 of the 15 studies were identified as high quality research studies, with a mean of 5.33 points (SD: 0.47). Among reviewed studies, the prevalence of swallowing difficulty in the CDE ranged from 5% to 72%. However, the average prevalence of dysphagia estimated from the 6 high quality studies was 15%. Reported risk factors associated with dysphagia include advancing age; history of clinical disease; and physical frailty, including reduced ability to carry out activities of daily living.
Research on dysphagia in CDE is modest and consists mostly of observational studies with diverse methodology. However, prevalence rate of 15% from the high quality research suggests a significant public health impact of this impairment. Identification of specific risk factors that cause dysphagia in the CDE is premature, given the rigor of published studies. Future research efforts should focus on developing a valid definition and assessment of dysphagia in this population before clarifying causative risk factors.
Key wordsDysphagia community dwelling elderly systematic review
- 1.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Older Person’s Health. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/older-american-health.htm. Accessed 15th Jan 2015.Google Scholar
- 2.US Department of Health and Human Services, 1999: 1-6. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Diagnosis and treatment of swallowing disorders (dysphagia) in acute-care stroke patients. Evidence report/technology assessment (Summary). Archived EPC Evidence Reports. Accessed 15th June 2015.Google Scholar
- 8.Prasse JE, Kikano GE. An overview of dysphagia in the elderly. Advanced studies in medicine. 2004;4(10):527–33.Google Scholar
- 21.Serra-Prat M, Palomera M, Gomez C, Sar-Shalom D, Saiz A, Montoya JG, et al. Oropharyngeal dysphagia as a risk factor for malnutrition and lower respiratory tract infection in independently living older persons: a population-based prospective study. Age Ageing. 2012;41(3):376–81.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 22.Singer C, Keintz, C., Danesh, A., Engstrom, G., Ouslander, J., Tappen, R. Perceived swallowing disorders in healthy aging individuals: impact on quality of life American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association Annual Convention, 2014. Orlando, FL.Google Scholar
- 26.Liberati A, Altman DG, Tetzlaff J, Mulrow C, Gotzsche PC, Ioannidis JPA, Clarke M, Devereaux PJ, Kleijnen J, Moer D. The PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta- analyses of studies that evaluate health care intervetions: explanation and elaboration. PLoS Medicine. 2009;6(7).Google Scholar
- 28.Wells GA SC, O’Connell D, Peterson J, Welch V, Losos M, Tugwell P. The Newcastle-Ottowa Scale (NOS) for assessing the quality of nonrandomised studies in meta-analyses 2014.Google Scholar
- 34.Chen AY, Frankowski R, Bishop-Leone J, Hebert T, Leyk S, Lewin J, et al.. The development and validation of a dysphagia-specific quality-of-life questionnaire for patients with head and neck cancer: the M. D. Anderson dysphagia inventory. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2001;127(7):870–6.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- 35.McHorney CA, Robbins J, Lomax K, Rosenbek JC, Chignell K, Kramer AE, et al. The SWAL-QOL and SWAL-CARE outcomes tool for oropharyngeal dysphagia inGoogle Scholar