Purpose: Self-selection and self-avoidance of certain foods is one possible indicator of preclinical (prior to any clinical intervention) dysphagia in healthy older adults. Self-selection of food choices is influenced by changes in a combination of factors, including neuromuscular, sensory, and individual patient characteristics. Changes to these factors occur both centrally or peripherally and can be part of typical, healthy aging. Alterations in motor, sensory, or cognitive skills may lead to self-imposed modifications to food choices and, therefore, highlight potential risk for dysphagia. Conclusions: For effective screening and assessments procedures in healthy aging adults, the diagnosis of preclinical dysphagia will likely require a multifaceted assessment. A combination of assessment methods using objective and subjective measurements of neuromuscular, sensory, and individual patient factors, as well as knowledge of food avoidance, may provide insight for identifying community-dwelling older adults at risk for dysphagia and allow for earlier monitoring and intervention.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language
- Speech and Hearing