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  • 1.
    Hägglund, Patricia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Speech and Language Therapy. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Swallowing dysfunction among older people in short-term care: prevalence, effect of intervention, and risk of mortality2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: Swallowing dysfunction (dysphagia) is a common, but often neglected condition among geriatric patients that can cause severe complications such as malnutrition, aspiration pneumonia and death. The aims of this thesis were to (i) describe the study design and method of the multidisciplinary and multicenter project SOFIA (Swallowing function, Oral health, and Food Intake in old Age), (ii) study the prevalence of and the relationship between swallowing dysfunction and risk of undernutrition among older individuals in short-term care, (iii) study the effect of oral neuromuscular training on swallowing dysfunction among older individuals, and (iv) to investigate the association between poor oral health, swallowing dysfunction and mortality.

    Methods: This thesis includes four original papers that are all part of the SOFIA project. Paper Iis the study protocol. In total, 391 individuals aged 65 or older, from 36 short-term care units were included in the project. At baseline the participants’ status regarding swallowing function (assessed with the Timed Water Swallow Test, TWST), oral health (using the Revised Oral Assessment Guide, ROAG) and nutrition (assessed with the Minimal Eating Observation and Nutrition Form-version II, MEONF-II) were assessed and collected by calibrated professionals. Clinical data were also collected. Paper IIwas a cross-sectional study where the baseline assessments of the participants’ swallowing function and nutritional status were obtained and the relationship analyzed. Paper IIIwas a cluster randomized, controlled trial (cRCT) that included 116 participants identified with swallowing dysfunction in paper II. These participants were randomly assigned to either usual care (control group) or oral neuromuscular training (intervention group). All participants were assessed at baseline, after five weeks’ training and six months after end-of-treatment, regarding swallowing function and swallowing-related quality of life (QOL). Paper IVwas a prospective cohort study where all participants were followed-up 1-year after inclusion to investigate risk factors for mortality by analysis of the associations between swallowing dysfunction, poor oral health, and 1-year survival. 

    Results: Paper II:The median age of the 391 participants was 84 years (Interquartile range [IQR] 11) and 209 (53%) were females. In total, 248 of the 385 (64%) participants showed swallowing dysfunction, and risk of undernutrition was observed in 91 of 390 (23%) participants. The adjusted logistics regression model revealed that participants with swallowing dysfunction had significantly higher odds of undernutrition than those with normal swallowing (Odds ratio [OR]: 1.74, 95% Confidence interval [CI] 1.04 to 2.92, P=0.034).Paper III: At end-of-treatment, a linear mixed model showed significant between-group differences of changes in swallowing efficacy between baseline and after completed treatment period (Ratio 1.60, 95% CI 1.15 to 2.29, P=0.007); indicating a 60% higher swallowing efficacy in the intervention group compared with the control group. Paper IV: A mixed effects Cox model showed that swallowing dysfunction and poor oral health were both independently associated with 1-year mortality (adjusted Hazard Ratio [aHR]: 1.67, 95% CI 1.02 to 2.75,P=0.041 and aHR: 1.98, 95% CI 1.07 to 3.65, P=0.029, respectively). In addition, swallowing dysfunction and poor oral health in combination predicted the highest mortality rate (35%, P<0.001).

    Conclusion: Swallowing dysfunction is highly prevalent and a risk factor for undernutrition among older people in short-term care. Oral neuromuscular training improves swallowing dysfunction and is thus a promising method of swallowing rehabilitation for older people with impaired swallowing. Swallowing dysfunction and poor oral health are independent risk factors for 1-year morality among older people in short-term care. Therefore, systematic screening and intervention to improve swallowing dysfunction and poor oral health are important to achieve healthy aging and to prevent undernutrition and early death.

  • 2.
    Hägglund, Patricia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Fält, Anna
    Hägg, Mary
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Department of Clinical Sciences, Karolinska Institutet Danderyds Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Levring Jäghagen, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Swallowing dysfunction as risk factor for undernutrition in older people admitted to Swedish short-term care: a cross-sectional study2019In: Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, ISSN 1594-0667, E-ISSN 1720-8319, Vol. 31, no 1, p. 85-94Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Swallowing dysfunction and risk of undernutrition increase the risk of pneumonia, morbidity, and mortality. Short-term care is an unexplored care context, where many older people stay yearly.

    AIM: This cross-sectional study aimed to describe and analyze the relationship between swallowing dysfunction and risk of undernutrition among older people in short-term care, including potential gender-related differences.

    METHODS: In total, 391 people (209 women), aged ≥ 65 years (median age 84 years) and admitted to short-term care in five Swedish counties participated. They went through a timed water swallow test to assess swallowing dysfunction, including abnormal swallowing capacity and signs of aspiration (i.e., cough and voice change). Risk for undernutrition was assessed using the Minimal Eating Observation and Nutrition Form-version II.

    RESULTS: Swallowing dysfunction was observed in 248 of 385 (63%) participants, including abnormal swallowing capacity in 213 of 385 (55%) and aspiration signs in 127 of 377 (34%). Abnormal swallowing capacity was more frequent among women (p = 0.030), whereas men with normal swallowing capacity exhibited signs of aspiration more frequently (cough p = 0.038, voice change p = 0.004). Risk of undernutrition was found in 91 of 390 (23%) participants, more frequently among women (p = 0.007). A logistic regression model revealed an increased risk of undernutrition among older people with abnormal swallowing capacity (OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.04-2.92, p = 0.034).

    CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of swallowing dysfunction and risk of undernutrition highlight the need for a systematic screening program and feasible treatment to improve swallowing function for adequate and safe food intake among older people in short-term care.

    CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov on July 4, 2016, under NCT02825927.

  • 3.
    Hägglund, Patricia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Speech and Language Therapy.
    Hägg, Mary
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Levring Jäghagen, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Effects of oral neuromuscular training on swallowing dysfunction among older people in intermediate care: a cluster randomized, controlled trial2019In: Age and Ageing, ISSN 0002-0729, E-ISSN 1468-2834, Vol. 48, p. 533-540Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: this prospective, cluster randomised, controlled trial investigated the effect of oral neuromuscular training among older people in intermediate care with impaired swallowing.

    Methods: older people (≥65 years) with swallowing dysfunction were cluster randomised according to care units for 5 weeks of neuromuscular training of the orofacial and pharyngeal muscles or usual care. The primary endpoint was the change in swallowing rate (assessed with a timed water swallow test) from baseline to the end-of-treatment and 6 months post-treatment. The secondary endpoints were changes in signs of aspiration during the water swallow test, and swallowing-related quality of life (QOL). An intention-to-treat principle was followed, and mixed-effects models were used for data analysis with the clustered study design as a random factor.

    Results: in total, 385 participants from 36 intermediate care units were screened, and 116 participants were randomly assigned to oral neuromuscular training (intervention; n = 49) or usual care (controls; n = 67). At the end of treatment, the geometric mean of the swallowing rate in the intervention group had significantly improved 60% more than that of controls (P = 0.007). At 6 months post-treatment, the swallowing rate of the intervention group remained significantly better (P = 0.031). Signs of aspiration also significantly reduced in the intervention group compared with controls (P = 0.01). No significant between-group differences were found for swallowing-related QOL.

    Conclusions: oral neuromuscular training is a new promising swallowing rehabilitation method among older people in intermediate care with impaired swallowing.

    Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02825927.

  • 4.
    Hägglund, Patricia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Olai, Lena
    Ståhlnacke, Katri
    Persenius, Mona
    Hagg, Mary
    Andersson, Maria
    Koistinen, Susanne
    Carlsson, Eva
    Study protocol for the SOFIA project: Swallowing function, Oral health, and Food Intake in old Age: a descriptive study with a cluster randomized trial2017In: BMC Geriatrics, ISSN 1471-2318, E-ISSN 1471-2318, Vol. 17, article id 78Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Extensive studies have shown that older people are negatively impacted by impaired eating and nutrition. The abilities to eat, enjoy food, and participate in social activities associated with meals are important aspects of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and recovery after illness. This project aims to (i) describe and analyze relationships between oral health and oral HRQoL, swallowing ability, eating ability, and nutritional risk among older individuals admitted to short-term care; (ii) compare the perceptions that older individuals and staff report on care quality related to oral hygiene and eating; and (iii) study the feasibility and effects of a training program for people with impaired swallowing (i.e., dysphagia).

    Methods/Design: This project consists of two parts, which will be performed in five Swedish counties. It will include approximately 400 older individuals and 200 healthcare professionals. Part 1 is a cross-sectional, descriptive study of older people admitted to short-term care. Subjects will be assessed by trained professionals regarding oral health status, oral HRQoL, eating and nutritional risk, and swallowing ability. Swallowing ability will be measured with a teaspoon test and a swallowing capacity test (SCT). Furthermore, subjects and staff will complete a questionnaire regarding their perceptions of care quality.

    Part 2 is a cluster randomized intervention trial with controls. Older participants with dysphagia (i.e., SCT <10 ml/s, measured in part 1) will be recruited consecutively to either the intervention or control group, depending on where they were admitted for short-term care. At baseline, all subjects will be assessed for oral health status, oral HRQoL, eating and nutritional risk, swallowing ability, and swallowing-related QoL. Then, the intervention group will receive 5 weeks of training with an oral screen for neuromuscular training focused on orofacial and pharyngeal muscles. After completing the intervention, and at six months post-intervention, all assessments will be repeated in both study groups.

    Discussion: The results will make important contributions to rehabilitation knowledge, including approaches for improving swallowing function, oral health, and food intake and for improving the quality of oral care for older people.

  • 5.
    Hägglund, Patricia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Speech and Language Therapy.
    Sandström, Linda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Speech and Language Therapy.
    Blomstedt, Patric
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Karlsson, Fredrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Speech and Language Therapy.
    Voice Tremor in Patients With Essential Tremor: Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation of Caudal Zona Incerta2016In: Journal of Voice, ISSN 0892-1997, E-ISSN 1873-4588, Vol. 30, no 2, p. 228-233Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives. The present study aimed at evaluating the effect of deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the caudal zona incerta (cZi) on voice tremor in patients with essential tremor (ET). Study Design. This is a prospective nonrandomized design with consecutive patients.

    Methods. Twenty-six patients operated with cZi DBS were evaluated under two conditions: without stimulation (Stim OFF) and with stimulation (Stim ON). Voice tremor was assessed on the basis of recordings of sustained vowel productions using a four-point rating scale in a blinded and randomized procedure. Averaged values of multiple assessments for each stimulus were used in statistical testing. The group of patients with voice tremor in Stim OFF was analyzed separately from the group of patients without voice tremor.

    Results. Voice tremor was significantly reduced on stimulation compared with off for the subgroup with initial voice tremor. Voice tremor prevalence was found to be 50% (13 patients). Individual differences in voice tremor outcome were noticeable. Six of the patients with voice tremor at baseline improved substantially by cZi DBS treatment.

    Conclusions. On the group level, voice tremor in patients with ET was found to reduce when stimulating the cZi. Bilateral stimulation was indicated to be more effective in reducing voice tremor than unilateral stimulation. However, individual voice tremor outcomes suggest that not all patients benefit from cZi DBS. Severity of voice tremor at baseline may not be a good predictor of voice tremor outcome after cZi DBS. Patients should be informed before surgery regarding individual differences in response to DBS treatment.

  • 6.
    Hägglund, Patricia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Susanne, Koistinen
    Olai, Lena
    Ståhlnacke, Katri
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine. Department of Clinical Science, Karolinska Institutet, Danderyd Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Levring Jäghagen, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology.
    Older people with swallowing dysfunction and poor oral health are at greater risk of early death2019In: Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, ISSN 0301-5661, E-ISSN 1600-0528, Vol. 47, no 6, p. 494-501Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: We investigated the associations between swallowing dysfunction, poor oral health and mortality among older people in intermediate care in Sweden.

    Methods: This prospective cohort study investigated 391 older people in 36 intermediate care units (clusters). Swallowing function was assessed with the timed water swallow test (TWST), and oral health with the revised oral assessment guide (ROAG) at baseline. Data were collected on age, sex, education level, multimorbidity, cognitive impairment, care dependency and body mass index (BMI). Time to mortality was recorded during the following year. The mixed effects Cox regression model with cluster as a random factor was used to estimate hazards ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI).

    Results: The median age of the participants was 84 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 11), and 53.3% were females. Mortality within one year was 25.1%. In the adjusted model, swallowing dysfunction and poor oral health were both independently associated with mortality (adjusted HR [aHR]: 1.67, 95% CI 1.02‐2.75; P = .041 and aHR: 1.98, 95% CI 1.07‐3.65; P = .029, respectively). Participants with combined swallowing dysfunction and poor oral health showed the highest mortality (35.0%) and 2.6 (95% CI 1.15‐5.89; P = .022) times higher mortality risk than those with normal swallowing function and good oral health (13.0%).

    Conclusions: Swallowing dysfunction and poor oral health were identified as independent risk factors for mortality in older people in intermediate care. Although further studies are required to verify these findings, they suggest that systematic assessment of swallowing function and oral health status should be performed for care considerations.

  • 7.
    Sandström, Linda
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Speech and Language Therapy.
    Hägglund, Patricia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Speech and Language Therapy.
    Johansson, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Speech and Language Therapy.
    Blomstedt, Patric
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Neurosurgery.
    Karlsson, Fredrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Speech and Language Therapy.
    Speech intelligibility in Parkinson's disease patients with zona incerta deep brain stimulation2015In: Brain and Behavior, ISSN 2162-3279, E-ISSN 2162-3279, Vol. 5, no 10, article id e00394Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives

    To investigate the effects of l-dopa (Levodopa) and cZi-DBS (deep brain stimulation in caudal zona incerta) on spontaneous speech intelligibility in patients with PD (Parkinson's disease).

    Materials and Methods

    Spontaneous utterances were extracted from anechoic recordings from 11 patients with PD preoperatively (off and on l-dopa medication) and 6 and 12 months post bilateral cZi-DBS operation (off and on stimulation, with simultaneous l-dopa medication). Background noise with an amplitude corresponding to a clinical setting was added to the recordings. Intelligibility was assessed through a transcription task performed by 41 listeners in a randomized and blinded procedure.

    Results

    A group-level worsening in spontaneous speech intelligibility was observed on cZi stimulation compared to off 6 months postoperatively (8 adverse, 1 positive, 2 no change). Twelve months postoperatively, adverse effects of cZi-DBS were not frequently observed (2 positive, 3 adverse, 6 no change). l-dopa administered preoperatively as part of the evaluation for DBS operation provided the overall best treatment outcome (1 adverse, 4 positive, 6 no change).

    Conclusions

    cZi-DBS was shown to have smaller negative effects when evaluated from spontaneous speech compared to speech effects reported previously. The previously reported reduction in word-level intelligibility 12 months postoperatively was not transferred to spontaneous speech for most patients. Reduced intelligibility due to cZi stimulation was much more prominent 6 months postoperatively than at 12 months.

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