Thejaswi Dodderi1, Nidhi D Karkera2, Neeraja Sunil3
1Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, Nitte Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
2Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed University), Pune, Maharashtra, India
3Department of Speech-Langauge Pathology, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysuru, Karnataka, India
Context: Literature suggests geriatrics with swallowing difficulty to use straw as a compensatory strategy to drink thin liquids. However, in India, drinking through the straw is traditionally not etiquette of dining and in our observation this practice is changing. Aim: This study aimed to measure the swallowing of thin liquids through the straw in healthy elderly adults (HEAs). Settings and Design: A crossover comparative design with nonrandom sampling was adopted. Subjects and Methods: Fifty volunteers (25 healthy young adults [HYAs] and 25 HEAs) consumed 100 ml lukewarm water from two medium: (a) rim of the cup and (b) through the straw, across four different straw capacities. Swallowing performance was measured by volume/swallow, time/swallow, and swallow capacity. Statistical Analysis Used: Descriptive statistics along with repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) and multivariate ANOVA test were administered on the data. Results: Results revealed HYAs swallowing from rim of the cup to be better than elderly participants that yielded increased volume/swallow. Likewise, in through the straw condition, healthy elderly participants had better swallowing performance. The study also highlights an inverse relationship between straw length and volume. Conclusions: The conclusion drawn is using straw results in decreased swallowing performance and this can be an effective strategy to improve thin liquid swallowing in healthy elders.
Keywords: 100 ml, aging, lukewarm water, swallow capacity, utensil.