Screening Tools for Dysphagia: A Systematic Review


Etges, C. L., Scheeren, B., et al. (2014).

CoDAS, 26(5), 343-349.

This systematic review investigates the characteristics, methods, and psychometric properties of dysphagia screening measures.

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Not further specified

Published studies (not further specified)


The Swallowing After Total Laryngectomy questionnaire (SOAL) was found to have satisfactory reliability for identifying individuals with dysphagia status-post total laryngectomy.

The Dysphagia in Multiple Sclerosis (DYMUS) screening tool was found to have satisfactory reliability for identifying individuals with dysphagia.

<p>Sensitivity values for screening measures were reported in 10 studies, ranging from 79.0% to 100%. Specificity, when reported, ranged from 51% to 100%. One study reported 100% sensitivity and specificity rates for the Massey Bedside Swallowing Screen. This measure involves observation items (alertness, aphasia, gag reflex, etc.) and, if observation portion is passed, a water swallow trial.</p> <p>Reliability was reported via Cronbach's <em>a</em> for six studies, ranging from .80 for the Swallowing Disturbance Questionnaire and .96 for the Eating Assessment Tool (EAT-10) and Swallowing After Total Laryngectomy questionnaire (SOAL). The authors stated that the six instruments "can be considered satisfactory for the purpose of identifying patients with dysphagia" (p. 348):</p> <ul> <li>Swallowing Disturbance Questionnaire</li> <li>Eating Assessment Tool (EAT-10)</li> <li>Swallowing After Total Laryngectomy questionnaire (SOAL)</li> <li>Dysphagia in Multiple Sclerosis (DYMUS)</li> <li>Dysphagia Screening Questionnaire</li> <li>Sydney Swallow Questionnaire (SSQ) &nbsp;</li> </ul>

Participants of included studies consisted of children and adults; only one study specified children as participants. Reported sensitivity ranged between 79.70% and 100%, and specificity was reported to be a minimum value of 51%.