Background: Swallowing is affected following stroke. Many studies focus on various aspects of swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) following stroke. However, there are not many studies on the determinants of dysphagia following stroke. The aim of the present study is to establish the association between various factors with the severity of dysphagia.
Methods: After screening for Mann Assessment of Swallowing Ability (MASA), 110 patients, post-stroke were selected using consecutive sampling to assess the common risk factors, namely the presence of diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, hypertension, alcohol usage and smoking habits. Additionally, other variables such as age, gender, type of lesion, side of lesion, tobacco chewing, speech disorders, arterial dysfunction, lobe involvement and Brunnstrom’s stages, were also evaluated using a structured interview method. X2 (chi-squared) analysis was carried out to find out the association between the selected determinants and severity of dysphagia following stroke.
Results: It was found that age and Brunnstrom’s stages are the determinants of dysphagia, as analysis showed a strong association with a p value < 0.001. A marginal association between post-stroke dysphagia and type of lesion with a p value of 0.056 was also observed.
Conclusions: Among 15 factors evaluated, age, type of lesion and Brunnstrom’s stages showed a significant association with the severity of dysphagia following stroke. This study advocates early dysphagia management for elderly patients with high Brunnstrom’s grading, for those who are not expected to spontaneously recover following stroke, and for earlier and better community rehabilitation. [Ethiop.J. Health Dev. 2019; 33(3):00-00]
Key words: Post-stroke dysphagia, Brunnstrom’s stages, dysphagia risk factors.