Why should I transition to using IDDSI with my patients?
IDDSI was created in 2013 to provide more consistent terminology and easily accessible testing methods. The world first heard about IDDSI in 2015 when it was published, providing clear guidelines for testing methods and texture modification of foods and liquids. The goal was to create globally standardized terminology and descriptions for diet modification across all ages, care settings, and cultures, providing clear consistency guidelines and simple carry-over with easily accessible testing tools. The National Dysphagia Diet (NDD) does not have easily accessible testing methods and results in ambiguity about what consistency you are providing your patients. With IDDSI, you can test any food or liquid in 10 seconds or less using items most individuals have on hand in their kitchens.
While there is no mandatory rule that you MUST implement IDDSI, it is strongly recommended and has also been endorsed by ASHA. It is becoming best practice to use IDDSI terminology in your assessment and treatment. Additionally, across disciplines, IDDSI is becoming widely used. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics announced in October 2021 that IDDSI will be used by the Nutrition Care Manual (NCM) as the only recognized texture-modified diet, and the NDD will no longer be used. Consumer products are also becoming labeled using IDDSI terminology and color schemes. Our patients and providers are becoming more comfortable with using IDDSI, and as such, we should be too. While the implementation process can seem overwhelming, actually using IDDSI in your practice is very easy. Additionally, knowing you are providing and teaching families diet modification that is accurate and reproducible is worth it.
This Ask the Expert is an excerpt from the course, 20Q: In the Thick of It - The International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative (IDDSI), by Jennifer Raminick, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-S and Danielle Ward, MS, CCC-SLP.