Royal belgian soc ear, nose, throat, head & neck surgery
B-ent vol:4 pages:3-6
The influence of dysphagia on nutritional status. Undernutrition occurs frequently in patients both inside and outside hospital settings, and it is often under-recognised and under-treated. The early recognition and treatment of undernutrition is necessary to prevent devastating effects on patient prognosis, including complications, hospitalisation, mortality, costs, and adverse effects on quality of life. Screening for undernutrition should have a fixed place in clinical practice. The Short Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire (SNAQ) has proven to be a valid and reproducible instrument for the detection and treatment of malnourished hospital patients in the early stages of hospitalisation and it is linked to a treatment plan. The care for, and cure of, undernutrition requires a multidisciplinary approach involving the physician, nurse, dietician and speech therapist.