(1) Background: Dysphagia is common in acute stroke patients and is a major risk factor for aspiration pneumonia. We investigated whether the early detection of dysphagia in stroke patients through screening could prevent the development of pneumonia and reduce mortality; (2) Methods: We searched the PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Scopus databases for relevant studies published up to November 2021. We included studies that performed dysphagia screening in acute stroke patients and evaluated whether it could prevent pneumonia and reduce mortality rates. The methodological quality of individual studies was evaluated using the Risk Of Bias In Non-randomized Studies of Interventions tool, and publication bias was evaluated by the funnel plot and Egger’s test; (3) Results: Of the 6593 identified studies, six studies met the inclusion criteria for analysis. The screening group had a significantly lower incidence of pneumonia than the nonscreening group did (odds ratio (OR), 0.60; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.42 to 0.84; p = 0.003; I2, 66%). There was no significant difference in mortality rate between the two groups (OR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.33 to 1.13; p = 0.11; I2, 93%); (4) Conclusions: Early screening for dysphagia in acute stroke patients can prevent the development of pneumonia.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: The present study was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea grant funded by the Korean government (grant no. NRF-2019M3E5D1A02069399).
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