A screening procedure for oropharyngeal dysphagia
The present study was designed to examine the sensitivity and specificity of a 28-item screening test in identifying patients who aspirate, have an oral stage disorder, a pharyngeal delay, or a pharyngeal stage disorder. The screening test includes 28 items divided into 5 categories: (1) 4 medical history variables; (2) 6 behavioral variables; (3) 2 gross motor variables; (4) 9 observations from oromotor testing; and (5) 7 observations during trial swallows. Results identified variables that were able to classify patients correctly as having or not having aspiration 71% of the time, an oral stage disorder 69% of the time, a pharyngeal delay 72% of the time, and a pharyngeal stage swallowing problem 70% of the time. Sensitivity and specificity for each of these judgments and all 28 items on the test are also provided. Results are discussed relative to statistical, clinical, and third-party perspectives on the goals of screening, data from other screening tests, and the role of screening versus diagnostic testing in care of dysphagic patients.