Share This

A huge proportion of elderly people living in residential care homes will develop dysphagia. In Australia this is estimated at close to two thirds of all residents. It is the role of the speech and language therapist to make recommendations to reduce the risks associated with dysphagia. These include modifications to the texture of food and fluids. This study sought to identify barriers to adherence to these recommendations in a large rural residential aged care facility in Australia. The authors conducted an audit of meal textures (n=42) and semi-structured focus groups with nursing and kitchen staff (n=11). Audit data was analysed using descriptive statistics and focus group data using Thematic Analysis. Results of the audit identified 64.3% of meals did not meet the recommendations made. Seven themes were identified from the transcribed focus group data and highlighted complex communication processes between staff members alongside time pressures and under-resourcing as the main issues. Given the serious consequences malnutrition, choking and aspiration pneumonia, can have on the health and wellbeing of residents in care settings, it is important that these barriers be addressed. Under-resourcing is a common issue within health and social care settings, particularly during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Without appropriate staffing and support it is unlikely that staff will have time to maintain the standards they are asked to achieve.

Assessing adherence and exploring barriers to provision of prescribed texture modifications for dysphagia in a residential aged care facility in rural Australia.
Hill C, Clapham RP, Buccheri A, et al.
2021;Early Online:1-10.
Share This
Anna Volkmer

UCL, London, UK.

View Full Profile