Visualizing the Consistency of Thickened Liquids With Simple Tools: Implications for Clinical Practice Purpose Accurate texture modifications to thin liquids are a critical aspect of patients' nutritional health and well-being. This study explored the use of 3 tools (2 distance- and 1 time-measuring devices) to characterize texture-modified liquids. The objectives were to use the tools to measure modified liquids, to determine if measurements ... Research Note
Research Note  |   February 06, 2018
Visualizing the Consistency of Thickened Liquids With Simple Tools: Implications for Clinical Practice
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jane Mertz Garcia
    Communication Sciences & Disorders, School of Family Studies and Human Services, Kansas State University, Manhattan
  • Edgar Chambers, IV
    Department of Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health, Kansas State University, Manhattan
  • Kelsey Cook
    Communication Sciences & Disorders, School of Family Studies and Human Services, Kansas State University, Manhattan
  • Disclosure: Jane Mertz Garcia and Edgar Chambers IV collaborated on development of the Target Test. The authors have declared no financial conflict or funding related to this.
    Disclosure: Jane Mertz Garcia and Edgar Chambers IV collaborated on development of the Target Test. The authors have declared no financial conflict or funding related to this. ×
  • Correspondence to Jane Mertz Garcia: jgarcia@ksu.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Katherine Verdolini Abbott
    Associate Editor: Katherine Verdolini Abbott×
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Research Notes
Research Note   |   February 06, 2018
Visualizing the Consistency of Thickened Liquids With Simple Tools: Implications for Clinical Practice
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2018, Vol. 27, 270-277. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0160
History: Received September 19, 2016 , Revised February 21, 2017 , Accepted July 19, 2017
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2018, Vol. 27, 270-277. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0160
History: Received September 19, 2016; Revised February 21, 2017; Accepted July 19, 2017

Purpose Accurate texture modifications to thin liquids are a critical aspect of patients' nutritional health and well-being. This study explored the use of 3 tools (2 distance- and 1 time-measuring devices) to characterize texture-modified liquids. The objectives were to use the tools to measure modified liquids, to determine if measurements differentiated nectar and honey levels of modification, and to compare measurements with other published reports.

Method We measured the flow distance of 33 prethickened water samples in centimeters (cm) using a line spread apparatus and a Bostwick Consistometer (Christison Particle Technologies). We selected a Zahn viscosity cup to measure the stream time of each prethickened liquid in seconds.

Results The 2 distance-measuring devices (line spread and Bostwick Consistometer) showed that thinner (nectar-thick) modifications spread or flowed a farther distance in comparison to thicker (honey-like) modifications. Testing with the line spread indicated that an average spread distance of 4.5 cm differentiated nectar-thick and honey-like consistencies. A flow distance of greater than 15 cm differentiated nectar from honey consistency measured with a Bostwick Consistometer. We were not successful in using the Zahn viscosity cup to determine the stream time of modified liquids.

Conclusions Two of the tools provided objective information about levels of liquid modification, which has implications for day-to-day preparation. Measurement tools that are accurate and easy to use have the potential to provide quick and dependable feedback to verify a prescribed level of liquid modification. Further efforts are needed to standardize the application of simple measurement tools in the management of patients who consume thickened liquids.

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