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ESSD seminal paper

12 April 2016


The European Society of Swallowing Disorders (ESSD) is an association of and for health care providers working, doing research and studying in the field of dysphagia and swallowing disorders.
It also runs each year one of the best International Dysphagia Conferences which we strongly recommend you try to visit.

It’s latest White Paper is essential reading for all dysphagia Clinicians and so we have put a link to it here: ESSD White Paper

The papers’ aim was to investigate the effect bolus modification has on the physiology, efficacy and swallowing in adults with oropharyngeal dysphagia through review of available literature.

It concluded:

  • New thickening agents should be developed to address the negatives of increasing viscosity of residue, palatability and treatment compliance.
  • Establish the optimal level for each phenotype of dysphagia patient.
  • Descriptors, terminology and viscosity measurements must be standardized.

These conclusions parallel our own and are the driving force behind all Slõ Drinks development. Taking each one in turn:

  1. Drink appropriate thickeners are used to ensure each drink changed into a Slõ Drink is a specific consistency, appealing to look at and palatable to drink. The Science behind Slõ Drinks is here.
  2. The volume of liquid required to change a drink into a Slõ Drink at a Stage 1: Nectar/ Syrup or Stage 2: Honey/ Custard Consistency is specified.  By adding or reducing the volume of liquid in 5 or 10ml increments it can be changed into an optimal consistency for the drinkers’ swallowing ability. The graph below shows how the consistency of a glass of Slõ Wine can be changed using this method.ESSD Post
  3. It is essential to remember that once the optimal consistency has been prescribed, a drink  can be repeatedly changed into a Slõ Drink at that consistency because the volume of drink appropriate thickener deposited in the sachet is consistent.
  1. To standardize consistency descriptor terminology Slõ Drinks consistencies are identified using the international language of numbers. Each country has indigenous terms to describe consistencies – but all use numbers to a greater or lesser extent.
    Consistency translators are therefore available showing the terms each Country uses to describe Stage 1 and Stage 2 fluids. You can find them by clicking here.

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