Authors: Logemann JA, Gensler G, Robbins J, Lindblad AS, Brandt D, Hind JA, Kosek S, Dikeman K, Kazandjian M, Gramigna GD, Lundy D, McGarvey-Toler S, Miller Gardner PJ
Title: A Randomized Study of Three Interventions for Aspiration of Thin Liquids in Patients with Dementia or Parkinson’s Disease
Source: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 2008 51(1): 173-183
Year: 2008
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 04/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - N
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - N
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

PURPOSE: This study was designed to identify which of 3 treatments for aspiration on thin liquids --chin-down posture, nectar-thickened liquids, or honey-thickened liquids-- results in the most successful immediate elimination of aspiration on thin liquids during the videofluorographic swallow study in patients with dementia and/or Parkinson's disease. METHOD: This randomized clinical trial included 711 patients ages 50 to 95 years who aspirated on thin liquids as assessed videofluorographically. All patients received all 3 interventions in a randomly assigned order during the videofluorographic swallow study. RESULTS: Immediate elimination of aspiration on thin liquids occurred most often with honey-thickened liquids for patients in each diagnostic category, followed by nectar-thickened liquids and chin-down posture. Patients with most severe dementia exhibited least effectiveness on all interventions. Patient preference was best for chin-down posture followed closely by nectar-thickened liquids. CONCLUSION: To identify best short-term intervention to prevent aspiration of thin liquid in patients with dementia and/or Parkinson's disease, a videofluorographic swallow assessment is needed. Evidence-based practice requires taking patient preference into account when designing a dysphagic patient's management plan. The longer-term impact of short-term prevention of aspiration requires further study.

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