Dysphagia in Nursing Home Residents: Management and Outcomes

Nikolina Jukic Peladic, Paolo Orlandoni, Giuseppina Dell'Aquila, Barbara Carrieri, Paolo Eusebi, Francesco Landi, Stefano Volpato, Giovanni Zuliani, Fabrizia Lattanzio, Antonio Cherubini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To define the prevalence of dysphagia and its associated factors and to investigate the influence of dysphagia and nutritional therapies performed in dysphagic subjects on clinical outcomes, including nutritional status, pressure ulcers, hospitalization, and mortality. Design: A prospective observational study. Setting and participants: Thirty-one Italian nursing homes participating in the ULISSE project and 1490 long-stay nursing home residents, older than 65 years, assessed at baseline and reassessed after 6 and 12 months. Measures: All participants underwent a standardized comprehensive assessment using the Italian version of the nursing home Minimum Data Set. The activities of daily living Long-Form scale was used to evaluate functional status. Health care professionals assessed dysphagia by means of clinical evaluation. Nutritional status was assessed using the information on weight loss. Results: The prevalence of dysphagia was 12.8%, and 16% of the subjects were treated with artificial nutrition. The mortality rate in subjects with dysphagia was significantly higher compared with that of nondysphagic subjects (27.7% vs 16.8%; P =.0001). The prevalence of weight loss and pressure ulcers was also higher in dysphagic subjects. At variance, dysphagia was not associated with a higher hospitalization risk. Conclusion/Implications: Dysphagia is common in nursing home residents, and it is associated with higher mortality. Therefore, early diagnosis and optimal management of dysphagia should become a priority issue in nursing homes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Sep 22 2018


  • artificial nutrition
  • dysphagia
  • hospitalization
  • Nursing home
  • texture modified diet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Policy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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