University of Limerick
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The identification of intensity, agreeability and perceived time and effort of the sensory and chemesthetic properties of selected taste stimuli among non-dysphagic populations

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posted on 2016-03-18, 15:18 authored by Aoife Barden
Factors such as cognitive ability, fatigue and patient compliance hinder the effectiveness of current treatment measures for the dysphagic population (Sdravou et al. 2012, Bulow et al 2003, McCurtin 2012). Research highlights limitations within treatments approaches for oropharyngeal dysphagia which lack a neurological and long-term patient agreeable element. Previous research indicated that sensory and chemesthetic agents may provoke changes in the swallow of dysphagic patients (Bulow et al. 2003, Pelletier and Lawless 2003, Hamdy et al. 2003). According to Feeney et al. (2011) taste is often cited as the greatest significant factor in food choice, it therefore emphasizes its importance within selected sensory and chemesthetic agents as a potentially effective integrated neurological treatment approach. This study aimed to (i) identify the agreeability, intensity and perceived impact of sensory and chemesthetic tastes selected from a previous pilot study (Smyth et al. 2014), (ii) examine associations between age, gender, time effort, intensity and agreeability and their impact ratings for tastes, (iii) identify individual tastes that will aid in the future management of dysphagia. A total of 204 non-dysphagic participants, aged 18+ (males: 114, females: 90) who met the eligible criteria were recruited for the blinded study. Fourteen different taste stimuli were selected from a previous pilot study by Smyth et al. 2014. Under sensory classifications depicted by factor analysis, all tastes except one (pasta: identified as bland and used a control) were identified from the study to be significant in intensity or agreeability. Tastes were administered to the participants and individually rated using hedonic scales for intensity and agreeability, and scales of less/no difference/more for time and effort. There were significant positive correlations of intensity and agreeability for mints and dark chocolate. Age and gender positively influenced the effect of agreeability on intensity in mints, and gender positively influenced the agreeability on intensity in dark chocolate. There were high ratings associated with less effort and less time and high ratings associated with more effort and more time. Results indicate dark chocolate and mints as taste stimuli that may be potentially beneficial to future dysphagia management. The variables used in the study should be considered within these tastes and investigated further.



  • Master (Research)

First supervisor

McCurtin, Arlene





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