Development of a candy-sucking test for evaluating oral function in elderly patients with dementia: A pilot study

Takahiro Mori, Mineka Yoshikawa, Mariko Maruyama, Aya Hiraoka, Masahiro Nakamori, Mitsuyoshi Yoshida, Kazuhiro Tsuga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To maintain oral intake in elderly patients with dementia, it is important to evaluate their oral function. However, these patients often have difficulties following instructions during oral function tests, especially with the progression of dementia. The task of sucking a lollipop candy is simple for elderly patients with mild or severe dementia. The present study aimed to develop a new oral function test – the “candy sucking test” (CST) – for elderly patients with dementia. Methods: We recruited 23 female elderly patients with dementia (mean age 89.0 ± 6.7 years). First, we determined the number of participants who were able to carry out this new oral function test, compared with other existing tests. Then, swallowing function was evaluated using videofluoroscopy for those who could carry out the CST. Results: More participants were able to perform carry out CST than other function tests (P < 0.05). A significant correlation was observed between the CST value, evaluated as the difference in candy weight, and oral transit time (ρ = −0.62, P < 0.01). Conclusions: The CST could be useful as a new method for evaluating the oral function of elderly patients with dementia. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2017; 17: 1977–1981.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1977-1981
Number of pages5
JournalGeriatrics and Gerontology International
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 11-2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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