Deterioration Of Swallowing

Deterioration Of Swallowing


Introduction to Nursing Diagnosis: Deterioration of Swallowing

Swallowing difficulty is a significant condition that requires regular monitoring and documentation. By making use of NANDA nursing diagnoses, health care professionals can properly document this condition, as well as provide appropriate psychosocial and physical treatment.

Nursing Diagnosis Definition

The nursing diagnosis of “Deterioration of Swallowing” (NON-073) states that it is a state in which clients exhibit an impaired ability to swallow.

Defining Characteristics:


  • Complaints of throat discomfort
  • Aversion to swallowing
  • Refusal to eat/drink
  • Difficulty with initiation, management and/or completion of swallowing


  • Unusual and prolonged pauses during swallowing
  • Coughing or choking during/after eating
  • Recurring food or liquid remaining in the mouth
  • Respiratory infections

Related Factors

Various factors may predispose the client to developing difficulties with swallowing such as: underlying medical conditions (e.g., stroke, dementia, Parkinson's, MS), physiological changes during pregnancy, side effects of medications/treatments, neurological damage following head trauma, and upper cervical tumors.

Risk Population

The elderly are at higher risk of developing swallowing problems due to increasing age and physiological changes associated with aging. They may also be taking various types of medications which can further increase their risk. People with cognitive impairments and disorders, such as those with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and Parkinson’s disease, can also be at higher risk for developing swallowing difficulties.

Associated Problems

When affected individuals experience difficulty with swallowing, they can be at risk for malnutrition, dehydration, aspiration pneumonias, and functional decline.

Suggestions for Use

Clinicians should assess the individual’s risk for developing swallowing difficulties and document any changes in the client’s ability to swallow. Interventions used to address the problem may include verbal and tactile cues, assistive devices, modified diets, fluids, and positioning.

Suggested Alternative Nursing Diagnosis

The following NANDA nursing diagnoses may also be considered when assessing and caring for clients with swallowing difficulties.

  • Ineffective Airway Clearance (NON-091)
  • Ineffective Swallowing (NON-090)
  • Risk for Aspiration (NON-117)
  • Risk for Fluid Volume Deficit (NON-111)
  • Ineffective Health Maintenance (NON-056)

Usage Tips

When documenting the nursing diagnosis of "Deterioration of Swallowing", it is important to list the defining characteristics, related factors and associated problems. This can help better define the diagnosis and provide a clearer picture of the patient's condition.

NOC Results

  • Swallowing: Ability to swallow effectively without difficulty.
  • Nutrition: Ability to absorb nutrients from food or fluids.
  • Hydration: Ability to adequately hydrate the body through drinking fluids.

NIC Interventions

  • Swallow Evaluation/Treatment: Evaluation and treatment of swallowing difficulty.
  • Nutritional Intervention: Providing appropriate nutrition to meet the patient's needs.
  • Hydration Management: Ensuring fluids are adequate to maintain hydration and support healing.

Conclusion and FAQ

Documentation of deterioration of swallowing using NANDA Nursing Diagnoses provides an accurate view of the condition, promotes effective interventions and can significantly improve patient outcomes. When considering this diagnosis, it is important to consider the associated problems and interventions, as well as the risk population, related factors and defining characteristics.

FAQs about deterioration of swallowing include: How is it diagnosed? What interventions are recommended? Who is at risk for developing difficulties with swallowing? What are the associated problems?

Isabella White

Hello to all nursing enthusiasts! I'm Isabella White and I'm thrilled to welcome you to this space dedicated to the exciting world of nursing. Let me share a little about myself and what we can expect together on this journey. About Me: Nursing is more than just a profession to me, it's a calling. When I'm not caring for my patients or learning more about health and wellness, you'll find me enjoying the great outdoors, exploring new trails in nature, or savoring a good cup of coffee with close friends. I believe in the balance between caring for others and self-care, and I'm here to share that philosophy with you. My Commitment to You: In this space, I commit to being your reliable guide in the world of nursing. Together, we'll explore health topics, share practical tips, and support each other on our journeys to wellness. But we'll also celebrate life beyond the hospital walls, finding moments of joy in the everyday and seeking adventures that inspire us to live fully. In summary, this is a place where nursing meets life, where we'll find support, inspiration, and hopefully a little fun along the way. Thank you for joining me on this exciting journey. Welcome to a world of care, knowledge, and connection! Sincerely, Isabella White

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