Advances in Practice: Implementing the IDDSI

Published by Feeding Matters on May 01, 2019

Dysphagia, or in simple terms, difficulty transporting food or liquid from the mouth to the stomach, affects an estimated 560 million people worldwide. In 2012, the International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative or IDDSI was launched with a goal of standardizing terminology for texture-modified foods and thickened liquids to improve the delivery of care and related outcomes.

From 2013 through 2014, the IDDSI engaged in international systematic review and solicitation of stakeholder input, which included health professions, patients and caregivers, industry and researchers. The results? In 2015, the IDDSI panel ultimately created standardized guidelines for describing and determining food and liquid consistency. The IDDSI classification has eight levels, 0 through 7. A simple timed measure of the gravity flow rate from a 10ml syringe is used to classify liquids. The IDDSI website provides free, open access instructions with training videos on how to classify liquids based on this testing method.

Families and professionals alike now have access to shared terminology and an easy cost-effective and reliable method of determining food and liquid consistency. Visit the IDDSI website for downloadable handouts, instructions, and videos on how to implement the internationally endorsed IDDSI. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also offers an IDDSI Boot Camp, including a monthly step-by-step plan for implementing the IDDSI in your workplace or community.