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Meeting nutritional need and managing patients with dysphagia

Dysphagia is a term used to describe difficulty or discomfort in swallowing food, fluids and even saliva. It is usually caused by another health condition, such as stroke, head injury or dementia, and can affect people of all ages. Nurses play a key role in identifying and managing dysphagia and screening for malnutrition. A multidisciplinary approach is required to guide appropriate interventions and achieve the best outcomes. This article discusses the prevalence of dysphagia, as well as the signs and risk factors, before taking a closer look at management strategies to help ensure good nutritional status.