The importance of dysphagia screening and nutritional assessment in hospitalized patients
To determine frequency of dysphagia risk and associated factors in hospitalized patients as well as to evaluate nutritional status by using different methods and correlate the status with scores of the Eating Assessment Tool (EAT-10).
This was a cross-sectional study including 909 inpatients of a philanthropic hospital. For the diagnosis of dysphagia we used an adapted and validated Brazilian version of the Eating Assessment Tool (EAT-10). The nutritional status was evaluated through the subjective global assessment, and anthropometric measurements included weight, calf and arm circumference, and knee height. The Mann-Whitney test, associations using the Pearson’s χ2 and Spearman’s correlation were used to verify differences between the groups.
The prevalence of dysphagia risk was 10.5%, and aging was the associated factor with this condition. Patients at risk presented lower values of arm and calf circumference, variables that correlated inversely with the Eating Assessment Tool (EAT-10) score. Malnutrition was observed in 13.2% of patients based on the subjective global assessment and in 15.2% based on the Body Mass Index.
Screening for dysphagia and malnutrition should be introduced in hospitals routine to avoid or minimize damages caused by dysphagia or malnutrition, especially among older people.