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P. Orlandoni, N. Jukic Peladic

J Aging Res Clin Practice 2016;5(1):31-37

Background: Oropharyngeal dysphagia negatively affects the quality of life of patients. It may lead to malnutrition, dehydration, aspiration pneumonia and death, especially in older people. Dysphagia and its level of severity have to be assessed accurately and in a timely fashion, because only early intervention can prevent the onset of complications. There are numerous self-administered questionnaires to monitor both the severity of dysphagia and the effectiveness of therapeutic approaches. The objective of this article is to conduct a literature review and to illustrate the characteristics of various self-assessment questionnaires for oropharyngeal dysphagia. Methods: A search of observational studies of adult populations with dysphagia, published from 1990 to June 2014, was performed in the electronic database Pubmed. Results: A total of 23 self-assessment questionnaires, on Health-related Quality of Life and Functional Health status, were identified. Fourteen questionnaires were excluded from the analysis for the following reasons: the questionnaire was written in a language other than English or Italian (n=3); the questionnaire was specific for caregivers (n=1); the questionnaires were not specific for oropharyngeal dysphagia (n=10). Nine questionnaires, validated in adult populations, were examined. Only two self-assessment questionnaires on quality of life - DHI (Dysphagia Handicap Index) and SWAL-QOL (Swallowing Quality Of Life) - were correctly validated; other questionnaires had methodological errors. Conclusions: A specific self-assessment questionnaire for older adults was not found. Almost all of the currently available questionnaires need to be improved methodologically. Furthermore, new questionnaires specifically for older people should be developed.

P. Orlandoni ; N. Jukic Peladic (2016): Health-related Quality of Life and Functional Health status questionnaires in Oropharyngeal Dysphagia. The Journal of Aging Research and Clinical Practice (JARCP). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jarcp.2016.87

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