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Jornal da Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

On-line version ISSN 2179-6491

Abstract

CASSOL, Karlla; GALLI, Juliana Ferreira Marcolino; ZAMBERLAN, Nelma Ellen  and  DASSIE-LEITE, Ana Paula. Quality of life in swallowing in healthy elderly. J. Soc. Bras. Fonoaudiol. [online]. 2012, vol.24, n.3, pp. 223-232. ISSN 2179-6491.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S2179-64912012000300007.

PURPOSE: To understand the self-perception of healthy elderly regarding possible swallowing difficulties. METHODS: Participants were 104 seniors, 62 women and 42 men, ranging in age from 60 to 88 years (mean 70.6), who reported good general health, no history of degenerative diseases, neurological or any other diseases that could influence swallowing participated. All subjects underwent cognitive and emotional screening and presented satisfactory conditions for both. A questionnaire to gather general and health information, and the protocol SWAL-QOL were applied. The data were statistically analyzed. RESULTS: Most domains of the SWAL-QOL showed mean numbers close to the maximum score (100 points), indicating a positive perception of the elderly about quality of life related to swallowing. Individuals with dentures showed better rates in most domains when compared to non-users. Individuals who self-reported ill-fitting dentures had lower scores for the domains "burden", "eating duration" and "frequency of symptoms". Men and women differed only in the domains "sleep" and "fatigue", for which women had lower mean scores. There was no correlation between the SWAL-QOL scores obtained and the variables age and monthly income. CONCLUSION: Healthy elderly, in general, do not self-report significant changes in the quality of life related to swallowing. Moreover, there is no reduction of quality of life related to swallowing as age advances. Well-adjusted dentures minimize impairment related to swallowing.

Keywords : Aged; Quality of life; Deglutition disorders; Deglutition; Aging.

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