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Eating and Swallowing Disorders

FUS undersökning

Project group leader

Kerstin Johansson

Swallowing disorders (dysphagia) are prevalent in neurological disorders (incl stroke), where the neurological control of the swallowing deviates from what is normal. Dysphagia is also common in other health conditions, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and head and neck cancer. Frail elderly with several health conditions and cognitive decline form a large group with complex health care needs related to their dysphagia.

Risks of dysphagia include insufficient intake of fluids and nutrition, and saliva, drinks and food entering the airways which can lead to pneumonia and choking. Social limitations and a reduced quality of life are common. Taken together, dysphagia is a serious health problem.

Early detection and intervention of dysphagia are important to minimize complications. In several projects we investigate dysphagia prevalence, and construct or try out new assessment instruments. Intervention projects include evaluation of effects on swallowing of “contagious yawning” and expiratory muscle strength training (EMST)

Project group member

Name Title Function
Kerstin Johansson PhD, Lecturer Project group leader
Per Östberg Assoc. prof, PhD Researcher
Riita Möller Ass. prof, ENT, phoniatrician Researcher
Sanna Jansson SLP Master student
Emma Lindroos SLP Master student
Jeanette Tellford SLP Master student
Maria Kjellholm SLP Co-worker
Kerstin Gustafsson SLP Co-worker

In collaboration with

Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Health and Rehabilitation, Sahlgrenska academy at GU:

Lena Hartelius,   Professor, SLP,   Researcher

Department of odontology at KI:

Mats Trulsson,   Professor,   Researcher

Hanze Hogeschool, Groeningen, Netherlands

Katrien Colman,   PhD, Hogeschooldocent,   Researcher

Ersta Diakoni, Ersta social work

Camilla Andersson,   Head of development,   Collaborator

Research projects

  • Prevalence of dysphagia in individuals 65 years and over who visit a primary health care central (Maria Kjellholm & Kerstin Johansson)
  • EAT-10 (Riitta Möller, Kerstin Johansson, Per Östberg)
  • Design of a multilevel screening tool to detect mealtime problems in older people with dementia in the community or residing in nursing homes (Katrien Colman & Kerstin Johansson)
  • Effects of free water in patients with dysphagia (Sanna Holstein Jansson)
  • Free from dysphagia? (Emma Lindroos)
  • Effects of contagious yawning on saliva production and swallowing in adults with traumatic brain injury – a possible treatment method (Jeanette Telford)

Selected publications

Deery, S. Dysphagia: a review of diagnostic screening tools & their use in nursing homes for the elderly. Student report, Summer research school, Karolinska Institutet, 2017

Persson, E., Wårdh, I., & Östberg, P. (2018). Repetitive Saliva Swallowing Test: Norms, Clinical Relevance and the Impact of Saliva Secretion. Dysphagia, 1-8

Möller R, Safa S, Östberg P. Validation of the Swedish translation of Eating Assessment Tool (S-EAT-10). Acta Oto-Laryngologica, 2016;136(7):749-53

Vogel AP, Keage MJ, Johansson K, Schalling E. Treatment for dysphagia (swallowing difficulties) in hereditary ataxia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Nov 13;11:CD010169