Nutritional and hydration interventions for people with dysphagia
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Nutritional and hydration interventions for people with dysphagia

Vicky Davies Registered dietitian and senior lecturer in nutrition and dietetics, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Wrexham University, Wrexham, Wales
Melanie Taylor Principal speech and language therapist, The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To refresh your knowledge of the causes and effects of dysphagia

  • To understand the nutritional and hydration interventions that may be used to manage dysphagia

  • To be aware of the nurse’s role in caring for people with dysphagia, including the relevant ethical considerations

Dysphagia (swallowing difficulties) is particularly common in older people and is associated with various health conditions. Dysphagia affects an individual’s ability to eat and drink, and can have a significant effect on their clinical outcomes and quality of life. This article explores ways in which nurses can support people with dysphagia to minimise the effects of the condition and enhance their quality of life. The authors examine the role of commonly used strategies such as dietary texture modification and thickened fluids that aim to optimise nutrition and hydration. However, some of the management options for dysphagia do not have a strong evidence base, so nurses should consider whether any dietary restrictions are proportionate and ensure that their benefits outweigh the risks.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2024.e12237

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Davies V, Taylor M (2024) Nutritional and hydration interventions for people with dysphagia. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2024.e12237

Published online: 28 March 2024

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