Swallowing problmes at the end of the palliative phase: incidence and severity in 164 unsedated patients

Bogaardt, Hans, Veerbeek, Laetitia, Kelly, Katherine, van der Heide, Agnes, van Zuylen, Lia, and Speyer, Renée (2015) Swallowing problmes at the end of the palliative phase: incidence and severity in 164 unsedated patients. Dysphagia, 30 (2). pp. 145-151.

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Abstract

Swallowing problems are reported to be a common finding in patients who receive palliative care. In existing literature, the incidence of swallowing problems is mostly described in small numbers of patients at the start of the palliative phase. As we hypothesized that the incidence of dysphagia might increase as the palliative phase progresses, this study describes the incidence of swallowing problems and related problems in 164 unsedated patients at the end of the palliative phase, defined by the last 72 h before their death. To determine the incidence of swallowing problems and related problems, questionnaires were completed bereaved by relatives and nursing staff. Our data shows that in the palliative phase the incidence of swallowing problems can be as high as 79 %. A significant correlation was found between swallowing problems and reduced psycho-social quality of life as assessed by nursing staff (ρ = −.284). Overall the nursing staff rated the incidence and severity of swallowing problems (and related problems like frequent coughing, loss of appetite, and problems with oral secretions) lower than the relatives. This study suggests that incidence of swallowing problems at the end of the palliative phase is high and that these difficulties may not only result in discomfort for patients, but also can raise concern for caregivers. More information and education on management of swallowing problems in palliative settings might be needed for both relatives and nursing staff. However, the data also suggest that any intervention should be proportional to the level of distress caused by the intervention.

Item ID: 43491
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0460
Keywords: deglutition, deglutition disorders, palliative care
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2016 02:44
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110315 Otorhinolaryngology @ 25%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 75%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920211 Palliative Care @ 25%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920201 Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services) @ 75%
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