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RCSLT and BDA formally adopt IDDSI

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The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) came about with a goal of developing international standardised terminology and descriptors for dysphagia diets that would meet the needs of individuals with dysphagia across the age span, across all care setting and across all cultures.

Dysphagia (swallowing disorder) is broadly estimated to affect 8% of the general population. These persons might experience trouble with: swallowing food or drinks; chewing; sucking; controlling saliva; taking medication; or protecting the airway from choking.

One of the most common ways of managing dysphagia is the provision of texture modified foods (chopped, minced, pureed) and thickened liquids (thin and various thicknesses). These modified foods and drinks are provided to help reduce the risk of choking or pulmonary aspiration.

The IDDSI framework consists of a continuum of eight levels (0-7) and includes descriptors, testing methods and evidence for both liquid thickness and food texture levels. The framework aims to improve clinical safety and efficiency by offering healthcare providers standardised terminology to assist in the development of international collaborative clinical research and to standardise the terminology and consistency of different food providers in order to reduce risk.


IDDSI in the UK

Over the past 2 years, a UK IDDSI Working Group (WG), consisting of senior level clinicians working in the British Dietetic Association (BDA) and the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists (RCSLT), along with industry members of medical nutrition companies and catering/food suppliers, have conducted small scale research and audits on the IDDSI framework.

The UK IDDSI WG has outlined a detailed 3-step plan, which includes an awareness phase, preparation phase and a final adoption phase by April 2019.

Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists

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Following consultation with stakeholders and an analysis of the evidence supporting the IDDSI framework and the current UK frameworks (National Descriptors for Texture Modification in Adults (2002) together with the updated Dysphagia Diet and Food Texture Descriptors (2011), The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists announced the formal adoption of the IDDSI framework on 3 October 2017.

You can read the full announcement here.

British Dietetic Association

On 5 October 2017, following consultation with stakeholders and an analysis of evidence, the British Dietetic Association (BDA) has also announced its support for the formal adoption of the IDDSI framework in the UK.

The BDA has been working with NHS England and a range of stakeholders (including representatives from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy, nurses, catering organisations and product manufacturers) to explore whether the UK should adopt the IDDSI framework.

You can read the full announcement here.

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More information can be found on the IDDSI website at http://iddsi.org/