‘Dysphagia cup’ encourages older people to drink more | Latest news for Doctors, Nurses and Pharmacists

The ergonomic anti-spill cup regulates the flow rate, effectively reduces the patient’s head tilt when drinking, effectively reduces the risk of aspiration, and increases fluid intake for elderly users.

Designed by a team of researchers in Singapore, the ‘swallowing cup’ aims to improve hydration for elderly hospitalized patients who need assistance with drinking while minimizing the use of labor. The cup has a non-slip base, handle, slanted walls and a spill-proof spout lid. This lid has an internal disc with different size outlets that can be used with regular and thick liquids to help adjust flow control.

This feature is said to work to deliver liquids at a normal flow rate or limit them to small amounts so that older patients, including those with oropharyngeal dysphagia, can safely drink at their own pace. increase.

Other notable features of the cup include a measuring gauge (to reduce the time required to thicken liquids and increase the accuracy of measuring liquid intake and tracking hydration status) and a hole above the disc. dots (to facilitate identification for visually impaired caregivers).

Specifically, according to the research team, the measurement gauge “can prepare thicker liquids in less time, reducing the need for repeated preparation of thicker liquid beverages, thus reducing the burden on caregivers.” It may help alleviate it.”

drink alone

in a pilot study This evaluated whether the cup could help older patients meet at least 50% of their daily fluid allowance and help nurses improve their productivity by 50% in terms of helping patients drink fluids. Thing. care teams, patients, and their families,” said the researchers.

The cups were distributed to 20 patients in the pilot ward of Changi General Hospital. Total daily water intake improved by 62.25% over 16 months. Mean total daily fluid intake was 703.4 mL and consumption increased by an average of 269.8 mL from baseline. Types of fluids consumed daily include water, tea, coffee, sugary drinks, fruit juices, and oral nutritional supplements. [BMJ Open Qual 2022;11:e002055]

Most patients (80%) were able to use cups and drinks without assistance. At 16 months, 75% of her patients achieved an overall increase in fluid intake. This was a significant increase from the 11% of her who drank enough fluid to meet her recommended daily fluid allowance at baseline.

liberation of nurses

Real-time data showed significant time savings for nurses in terms of supervising every step of patient fluid preparation. This includes infusion concentration, patient placement, encouragement, and supervision during drinking. Nursing productivity increased by 67%.

“Assuming that an entire 1,000-bed hospital has access to dysphagia cups and that appropriate patients can use them, hospitals would save 14.11 full-time equivalents of nursing labor annually,” the researchers noted. .

“With improved ease of use, the cup can be placed at the bedside, not only allowing patients to drink on their own, but also actively encouraging patients to drink and drink during the day. I encourage you,” they added.

The quality of patient care in facilities and hospitals can be plagued by staff shortages coupled with busy work schedules. As such, researchers believe workflow processes that help increase productivity and save time will lead to increased job satisfaction, reduced care burden, and improved overall patient care.

Expanding user base

The research team noted some challenges in implementing the use of swallowing cups. These include time to get cooperation from ward nurses, encouraging responsibility, maintaining adherence to cup use, and getting buy-in from patients and their families.

“Possibly, video recording of the cup cleaning, drying, and assembly steps could save care teams time spent training caregivers, and could also serve as a resource for the patient’s family to refer to after discharge. there is,” they said.

One of the limitations of this study was the small sample size. The research team shared that they are already looking to involve other wards of the hospital for more widespread use of the swallowing cup.

“Going forward, it would be prudent to continue researching and monitoring the results and implementation of the swallowing cup to ensure the sustainability of this project. is ideal,” said the team.

“Groups that may benefit from cups include younger patients with neurological conditions (such as cerebral palsy and neurodegenerative disorders) and otorhinolaryngologists with oropharyngeal cancer who have oropharyngeal dysphagia. This cup is also suitable for those who have thin liquids and do not have trouble swallowing,” they added.

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