Original research| Volume 100, ISSUE 7, P1283-1288, July 2019

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Associations Between Spontaneous Swallowing Frequency at Admission, Dysphagia, and Stroke-Related Outcomes in Acute Care

Published:February 05, 2019DOI:



      To expand the scope of prior spontaneous swallowing frequency analysis (SFA) studies, by evaluating the role of SFA in dysphagia-and stroke-related outcomes at acute stroke discharge.


      Period prevalence study.


      Tertiary care university hospital.


      Patients with acute stroke (N=96).


      Subjects were screened for dysphagia using SFA. Mode of screening was 24 hours from identified stroke onset. All patients completed dysphagia- and stroke-related assessments. Patients were followed to discharge from acute care, and admission SFA was compared with status at discharge.


      Lower SFA rates at admission were significantly associated with presence of dysphagia. Lower SFA rates were also associated with persistent dysphagia and restricted diet at discharge. The SFA rates were lower for patients with identified aspiration on fluoroscopic swallowing study. Negative stroke-related outcomes from acute care were associated with lower SFA rates including disability at admission, disability and handicap at discharge, and institutionalization at discharge. Regression analysis identified SFA as an independent predictor of the negative composite outcome of death-disability-institutionalization.


      Swallowing frequency analysis not only has a high accuracy of dysphagia identification in acute stroke and relates to dysphagia severity, but it is also associated with multiple dysphagia- and stoke-related outcomes from acute care. Early poststroke dysphagia identification with SFA may lead to earlier and more effective interventions targeted at identified negative stroke outcomes.


      List of abbreviations:

      FOIS (Functional Oral Intake Scale), MASA (Mann Assessment of Swallowing Ability), mRS (modified Rankin Scale), NIHSS (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale), SFA (swallowing frequency analysis), SLP (speech-language pathology)
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