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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

Vårdal Institute; Swedish Institute for Health Science, Lund University
Detection of Eating Difficulties after Stroke: A Systematic Review

Westergren, A. (2006).
International Nursing Review, 53(2), 143-149.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question Yes
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes*
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is a review evaluating non-instrumental (with the exception of pulse oximetry) and non-invasive screening methods for bedside detection of eating difficulties among persons with stroke.

Question(s) Addressed:

Question not specifically stated.

Population: Adults (older than 19 years) with stroke

Intervention/Assessment: Non-instrumental (besides pulse oximetry) and non-invasive screening measures

Number of Studies Included: 17 (13 dealing with dysphagia, 4 dealing with eating difficulties in general)

Years Included: 1964 – 2004



  • Assessment/Diagnosis
    • Assessment Instruments
      • Swallowing
        • Bedside Swallow Assessment - Best evidence suggests the use of the standardized bedside swallowing assessment which includes the water swallow test to detect dysphagia in individuals with acute stroke.
        • Pulse Oximetry - Studies indicate that pulse oximetry can be an additional complement to the water swallow test, and "is likely to increase the possibility of detecting silent aspiration" (p. 148).

Keywords: Stroke, Swallowing Disorders, Clinical Bedside Assessment

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*Literature search was limited to MedLine. Criteria used for quality assessment may have been "too generous" causing a bias towards 'strong evidence'.

Added to Compendium: December 2011

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