Poster Presentation

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
2:45 PM - 3:30 PM
This presentation is part of : Poster Presentation I
Prevalence and contributing factors of feeding difficulties among dementia people in Taiwan
Chia-Chi Chang, PhD, RN, Nursing, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan and Hsiao-ching Liu, RN, MS, School of Nursing, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.
Learning Objective #1: understand the feeding difficulties of elderly with dementia
Learning Objective #2: understand the contributing factors of feeding difficulties of elderly with dementia

Feeding difficulties among dementia patients has been identified in western society (Watson, 1993; Watson, 2002) and is a major reason for the high risk of malnutrition (Durnbaugh, Haley, & Roberts, 1996; Berry & Marcus, 2000; Wasson, Tate, & Hayes, 2001). This study was designed to investigate the prevalence rates and associated factors of feeding difficulties among dementia population in Taiwan by using multiple methods including mealtime observations, paper-pencil questionnaires, and physical examinations. There were 93 dementia elderly participated in this study. The results were found that about 20% to 50% of dementia elderly at least sometimes having one item of feeding problems according to EdFED (Edinburgh Feeding Evaluation in Dementia) scales. In additional, the higher scores of EdFED indicated higher difficulties with the range 0-22, the mean scores of EdFED were 6.5 (SD=5.2). According to the Person correlations, the EdFED scores of dementia elderly were associated with the duration of diagnosis (r=0.32,p<0.01),the SPMSQ scores (r=-0.37,p<0.01),the ADL scores (r=-0.57,p<0.01) and the swallowing difficulties (r=0.75,p<0.01).The feeding difficulties were significantly associated with cognitive function, ADL function and swallowing difficulties. Therefore, reducing the feeding difficulty could promote their cognitive function and improve their ADL. The results of this study help health professionals to gain better understanding of feeding difficulties and associated factors of dementia elderly and provide directions of developing future nutritional interventions or training programs in order to maintain the quality of life in institutionalized people with dementia.