The rehabilitation nurse's intervention in elderly people with dysphagia: systematic literature review


  • Susana Marisa Loureiro Pais Batista
  • Ana Cláudia Miragaia Bonifácio
  • Cristina Maria Morais Simão
  • Liliana Maria Castanheira Pereira
  • Carlos Manuel de Sousa Albuquerque
  • Rosa Maria Lopes Martins
  • Ana Isabel Nunes Pereira de Azevedo e Andrade
  • Paula Cristina Dias Rocha
  • Hugo Rafael Moita dos Santos



Dysphagia, swallowing, elderly, rehabilitation nursing


Context: Dysphagia in aging is associated with malnutrition and cognitive changes resulting from the natural decline of the body's homeostasis at the end of life. It is a permanent challenge for the rehabilitation nurse (RN) to ensure a safe nutrition of the elderly person by re-educating swallowing. Objective: To identify the current scientific evidence on the effectiveness of swallowing rehabilitation interventions in older people with dysphagia. Methodology: Systematic Literature Review (SLR) conducted according to the methodology proposed by the Joanna Briggs Institute, based on studies published between 2017 and 2022, in the databases: CINAHL Complete, MEDLINE Complete, Nursing & Allied Health Collection: Comprehensive Edition and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and PubMed. Critical appraisal, data extraction and synthesis were performed by two independent reviewers. Results: Initially 647 articles were identified, however only 7 were included in this Review as they met the defined criteria. We found very disparate oropharyngeal rehabilitation plans, particularly regarding the type of exercises/techniques and the use of devices. As for the devices, we tested the Gentle Stim® for transcutaneous electrical neurostimulation (TENS); the IQoro® to stimulate sensory input and strengthen facial, oral, and pharyngeal muscles; the Tongue Pressure Strengthening (TPS) for tongue muscle exercise with resistance training. Conclusion: The elderly person can improve swallowing ability if subjected to a personalized oropharyngeal rehabilitation plan, minimizing the risk of complications. Further research by RN is recommended.


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How to Cite

Batista, S. M. L. P., Bonifácio, A. C. M., Simão, C. M. M., Pereira, L. M. C., Albuquerque, C. M. de S., Martins, R. M. L., e Andrade, A. I. N. P. de A., Rocha, P. C. D., & dos Santos, H. R. M. (2023). The rehabilitation nurse’s intervention in elderly people with dysphagia: systematic literature review. STUDIES IN HEALTH SCIENCES, 4(2), 610–630.

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