2020 Volume 66 Issue 3 Pages 224-228
The Vietnamese older adult population has increased rapidly on an annual basis and dysphagia has become a common issue. The nutritional status of older adults in general and of dysphagic older adults in particular has not received adequate attention. The automatic solution for cases of serious choking/aspiration is still a prescription for tube feeding. In developed countries, oral intake is a priority alternative for dysphagia and has positive consequences. This study aimed to investigate the nutritional status of and feeding practices for dysphagic older adult inpatients in some Vietnamese hospitals. The study was designed as a cross-sectional study and was conducted in three large hospitals in northern Vietnam. The data for 1007 older inpatients (58.3% were females, mean age was 75.5±7.3 y) about their dysphagic status, nutritional status and feeding practices were collected by dietitians. About 29% of the older adult inpatients suffered from malnutrition and 54% had a risk of malnutrition. Half of the dysphagia group had malnutrition and 42% were at risk of malnutrition. About 78% of the dysphagic older adults had oral intake of soft foods/regular foods and the remainder had tube feeding. Almost all dysphagic patients had reduced food intake over the prior 3 mo. The rate of pneumonia was quite high among dysphagic patients. The nutritional status of Vietnamese older adult inpatients in general and of dysphagic older adults specifically was poor. Oral intake of a texture-modified diet should be a method with priority over tube feeding or soft foods/regular foods for dysphagic patients.