Effect of Dysphagia on Hospital Outcomes and Readmissions in Patients with Human Immunodeficiency Virus

The aim of this study was to assess the impact of dysphagia on hospital costs, length of stay (LOS), mortality, and 30-day readmission rates in HIV patients hospitalized with dysphagia. 

Target Audience

Southern Medical Journal (SMJ) is an interdisciplinary, multi-specialty Journal, and articles span the spectrum of medical topics, providing timely, up-to-date information for primary care physicians and specialists alike. The SMJ enables physicians to provide the best possible care to patients in this age of rapidly changing modern medicine. Therefore, the readers of the SMJ are an appropriate target for this article.

Learning Objectives

Dysphagia is a common symptom in patients hospitalized with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). There are limited data on the relation between dysphagia and important hospital outcomes. 

Key Points

  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients hospitalized with dysphagia are more likely to have Candida esophagitis, esophageal strictures, and malnutrition. They are also more likely to undergo upper endoscopy.
  • Dysphagia in HIV patients is an independent predictor of longer length of stay, higher cost, and higher rate 30-day readmissions.
  • These findings highlight the importance of early identification and treatment of dysphagia, along with early discharge planning.
  • Further studies are needed to identify efficient diagnostic and treatment strategies to mitigate the negative consequences of dysphagia on an HIV patient’s quality of life, cost of care, and readmissions.

The aim of this study was to assess the impact of dysphagia on hospital costs, length of stay (LOS), mortality, and 30-day readmission rates in HIV patients hospitalized with dysphagia. At the conclusion of the activity, learners should be better prepared to:

  1. Recognize that patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection who are hospitalized and have dysphagia are most likely to have candida esophagitis, esophageal strictures and/or associated malnutrition;
  2. Recognize that hospitalized patients with HIV and dysphagia have longer lengths of stay, higher costs and higher 30-day readmission rates compared to patients with HIV without dysphagia;
  3. Implement processes to improve early awareness and diagnosis of dysphagia for hospitalized patients with HIV infection and discharge planning potentially may reduce lengths of stay, costs, and readmission rates. 

Additional Information

Southern Medical Association
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Southern Medical Association (SMA) requires instructors, planners, managers, and all other individuals who are in a position to control the content of this activity to disclose conflicts of interest (COI) with ineligible entities within the last 24 months of the development of this activity. All identified COIs are thoroughly vetted and mitigated prior to the release of the activity. SMA is committed to providing its learners with high quality activities and related materials that promote improvements or quality in healthcare and not a specific proprietary business interest of a commercial interest.

The following individuals, unless otherwise notedhave no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Manuscript Author(s):
Rosemary Nustas, MD
Raj Dalsania, MD
Jason Brown, MD
Srikrishna V. Patnana, MD
Emad Qayed, MD, MPH

Southern Medical Association/Southern Medical Journal Editorial Staff:
Steven T. Baldwin, MD, SMJ Editor-in-Chief
Jennifer S. Price, MA, Managing Editor
Anita McCabe, Copyeditor

Southern Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Southern Medical Association designates this Journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

AAPA: AAPA accepts certificates of participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society. 

AANPCP: The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

Healthcare Professionals
For information on applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity, please consult your professional licensing board.  All healthcare professionals who are not MDs or DOs will receive a certificate of participation.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
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This activity is designed to be completed within the time designated; learners should claim only those credits that reflect the time actually spent in the activity. To successfully earn credit, participants must complete the activity online during the valid credit period noted, following these steps:

  • Read the goals and objectives, accreditation information, and author disclosures.
  • Login in below to access the article in order to study the educational content and references.
  • Online, choose the best answer to each test question. To receive a certificate, you must receive a passing score.
  • Complete the activity evaluation and attestation.