Department

Communicative Disorders

Publication Year

2008

Abstract

Clinicians assessing swallowing disorders will often use instrumental evaluations to define abnormality of swallow function and safety. Most commonly, videofluoroscopic swallow studies (VFSS) are performed to identify impaired swallow function and determine possible treatment strategies. There are known data showing poor inter- and intrarater reliability when interpreting VFSS results, which may lead to inappropriate treatment recommendations. This project examines the methods used to interpret VFSS results of dysphagic patients and the reliability of these results. There is a need for an efficient and reliable standard interpretation measure of VFSS results. A physiologically based evaluation worksheet of this nature will objectively and accurately identify the functional and dysfunctional aspects of a patient's swallow by looking at the biomechanical aspects of swallow, the pattern of problem, and compensatory and treatment strategies. The aim of this study is to recommend new interpretation methodology that can be used by professionals to make more accurate notations of VFSS results. The evaluation worksheet will be created to increase the practicality and efficiency of current interpretation protocols. With further research this methodology should be proven to increase the validity of the VFSS examination and reduce any discrepancies in interpretation of the results.

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