IDDSI have developed an international standardised framework for people with dysphagia
who require texture modified food and thickened fluids.


The new framework includes global terminology and definitions designed to work for people from all cultures.

This terminology is person focussed, not profession focused.


What is IDDSI?

Volunteers from around the world contribute to IDDSI (International Dysphagia Diet Standardised Initiative).

Volunteers come from a range of professions including

  • Nursing and Medicine
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Speech Pathology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Food Science and Technology
  • Patient Safety
  • Engineering


What is Dysphagia?

Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder that includes problems with chewing, sucking and swallowing food or drinks.

This can also cause issues with taking medication, controlling saliva, and protecting the airway from food.

Unmanaged dysphagia can have adverse effects such as malnutrition, dehydration, choking, and pneumonia.

The most common way of managing dysphagia is through modified foods such as chopped, minced and pureed and thickened fluids.

These modifications aid in reducing the risk of choking and food entering the airway which can cause pneumonia.


The Need for Standardisation

Prior to the introduction of a standardised terminology, there was a lot of confusion surrounding dysphagia.

Health professionals, as well as caregivers, were presented with many regional differences in the instructions given to manage the disorder.

Terminology, labels, levels, and numbers differed depending on the city, state or country.

Differences also occurred between the hospital, rehabilitation facilities, care homes, and nursing homes.


The New Framework

The following is a table that IDDSI has released showing the new international framework for modified diet and thickened fluid terminology.

These changes come into effect May 2019.


For More Information

Read more about the IDDSI Framework on the IDDSI website.

AutumnCare has incorporated the new IDDSI framework – read about this update.

An update has been made to IDDSI category 7 – read about it here