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Article

Assessment of Swallowing Disorders, Nutritional and Hydration Status, and Oral Hygiene in Students with Severe Neurological Disabilities Including Cerebral Palsy

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Unitat d’Exploracions Funcionals Digestives CSdM-UAB, Hospital de Mataró, 08304 Mataró, Spain
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Unitat de Dietètica i Nutrició, Hospital de Mataró, 08304 Mataró, Spain
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Departament de Medicina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08035 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
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Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Hepáticas y Digestivas (CIBERehd), Instituto de Salut Carlos III, 28029 Madrid, Spain
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Departament de Periodòncia, Facultat d’Odontologia de Barcelona UIC, 08195 Sant Cugat del Vallès, Spain
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Escola l’Arboç, Fundació El Maresme, 08301 Mataró, Spain
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Unitat de Suport Tècnic, Fundació El Maresme, 08301 Mataró, Spain
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Fundació de Recerca en Gastroenterologia (Furega), 08008 Barcelona, Spain
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Cheng-Chia Yu
Nutrients 2021, 13(7), 2413; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13072413
Received: 28 May 2021 / Revised: 30 June 2021 / Accepted: 7 July 2021 / Published: 14 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Nutrition)
Background: Special needs schools (SNS) educate children and young people with major neurological disabilities who are at high risk of oropharyngeal dysphagia (OD) and malnutrition (MN). We aimed to assess the prevalence of OD, MN, dehydration (DH), and oral health (OH) in students at an SNS. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was conducted at SNS L’Arboç, Catalonia, Spain. We assessed (a) demographics, health status, comorbidities, and gross motor function classification system (GMFCS), (b) swallowing function, oral-motor evaluation, masticatory capacity, and EDACS classification for eating and drinking abilities, (c) nutritional and DH status (anthropometry, bioimpedance and dietary records), and (d) OH (Oral Hygiene Index Simplified). Results: A total of 33 students (mean age 13.3 years; 39.4% level V of GMFCS) were included. Main diagnosis was cerebral palsy at 57.6%. All students presented OD, 90.6% had impaired safety, 68.7% were at levels II–III of EDACS, and 31.3% required PEG; furthermore, 89.3% had chronic MN, 21.4% had acute MN, 70% presented intracellular DH, and 83.9% presented impaired OH. Conclusion: MN, DH, OD, and poor OH are highly prevalent conditions in students with cerebral palsy and other neurological disabilities and must be specifically managed through nutritional and educational strategies. The multidisciplinary team at SNS should include healthcare professionals specifically trained in these conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: neurological disability; cerebral palsy; dysphagia; malnutrition; dehydration; dietary intakes; swallowing disorders; feeding difficulties; oral health neurological disability; cerebral palsy; dysphagia; malnutrition; dehydration; dietary intakes; swallowing disorders; feeding difficulties; oral health
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MDPI and ACS Style

Costa, A.; Martin, A.; Arreola, V.; Riera, S.A.; Pizarro, A.; Carol, C.; Serras, L.; Clavé, P. Assessment of Swallowing Disorders, Nutritional and Hydration Status, and Oral Hygiene in Students with Severe Neurological Disabilities Including Cerebral Palsy. Nutrients 2021, 13, 2413. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13072413

AMA Style

Costa A, Martin A, Arreola V, Riera SA, Pizarro A, Carol C, Serras L, Clavé P. Assessment of Swallowing Disorders, Nutritional and Hydration Status, and Oral Hygiene in Students with Severe Neurological Disabilities Including Cerebral Palsy. Nutrients. 2021; 13(7):2413. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13072413

Chicago/Turabian Style

Costa, Alicia, Alberto Martin, Viridiana Arreola, Stephanie A. Riera, Ana Pizarro, Cristina Carol, Laia Serras, and Pere Clavé. 2021. "Assessment of Swallowing Disorders, Nutritional and Hydration Status, and Oral Hygiene in Students with Severe Neurological Disabilities Including Cerebral Palsy" Nutrients 13, no. 7: 2413. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13072413

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