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European Geriatric Medicine

, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 879–887 | Cite as

The GUSS test as a good indicator to evaluate dysphagia in healthy older people: a multicenter reliability and validity study

  • Ebru UmayEmail author
  • Sibel Eyigor
  • Ali Yavuz Karahan
  • Ilknur Albayrak Gezer
  • Ayse Kurkcu
  • Dilek Keskin
  • Gulten Karaca
  • Zeliha Unlu
  • Canan Tıkız
  • Meltem Vural
  • Banu Aydeniz
  • Ebru Alemdaroglu
  • Emine Esra Bilir
  • Ayse Yalıman
  • Ekin Ilke Sen
  • Mazlum Serdar Akaltun
  • Ozlem Altındag
  • Betul Yavuz Keles
  • Meral Bilgilisoy
  • Zeynep Alev Ozcete
  • Aylin Demirhan
  • Ibrahim Gundogdu
  • Murat Inanir
  • Yalkin Calik
Research Paper

Key summary points

Aim

We aimed to evaluate whether the Gugging Swallowing Screen (GUSS) test is an effective method for evaluating swallowing difficulty in healthy older people.

Findings

Total GUSS score sensitivity was 95.5% and its specificity was 94.4%.

Message

The GUSS test is a valid and reliable test to identify possible oropharyngeal dysphagia risk in healthy older person who had no secondary dysphagia. It is suitable as a screen test for clinical practice.

Abstract

Purpose

Dysphagia is known to be a disorder of the swallowing function, and is a growing health problem in aging populations. Swallowing screening tests have mostly been studied in comorbidities such as stroke associated with old age. There is no simple, quick and easy screening test to best determine the risk of oropharyngeal dysphagia in geriatric guidelines. We aimed to evaluate whether the Gugging Swallowing Screen (GUSS) test is an effective method for evaluating swallowing difficulty in healthy older people.

Methods

This cross-sectional and multicenter study was conducted at 13 hospitals between September 2017 and February 2019. The study included 1163 participants aged ≥65 years and who had no secondary dysphagia. Reliability was evaluated for data quality, scaling assumptions, acceptability, reliability, and validity as well as cutoff points, specificity and sensitivity.

Results

The age distribution of 773 (66.5%) patients was between 65 and 74 years and 347 (29.8%) of them were male and 767 (66%) patients were female. The average total GUSS score was 18.57 ± 1.41. The Cronbach’s alpha was 0.968. There was a moderate statistically significant negative correlation between the total GUSS and 10-item Eating Assessment Tool scores as well as between the total GUSS score and quality of life. The cutoff point of the total GUSS score was 18.50, sensitivity was 95.5% and specificity was 94.4%.

Conclusions

The GUSS test is a valid and reliable test to identify possible oropharyngeal dysphagia risk in healthy older people who had no secondary dysphagia. It is suitable as a screen test for clinical practice.

Keywords

Dysphagia Older people Screen test GUSS 

Notes

Funding

There is no funding source in this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest among the authors.

Ethical approval

All the procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee ((Ethics committee of University of Health Sciences, Ankara Diskapi Training and Research Hospital) and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

All participants or the relatives of illiterate participants were informed about the study and their written informed consents were obtained at the beginning of the study.

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Copyright information

© European Geriatric Medicine Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ebru Umay
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sibel Eyigor
    • 2
  • Ali Yavuz Karahan
    • 3
  • Ilknur Albayrak Gezer
    • 4
  • Ayse Kurkcu
    • 4
  • Dilek Keskin
    • 5
  • Gulten Karaca
    • 5
  • Zeliha Unlu
    • 6
  • Canan Tıkız
    • 6
  • Meltem Vural
    • 7
  • Banu Aydeniz
    • 7
  • Ebru Alemdaroglu
    • 8
  • Emine Esra Bilir
    • 8
  • Ayse Yalıman
    • 9
  • Ekin Ilke Sen
    • 9
  • Mazlum Serdar Akaltun
    • 10
  • Ozlem Altındag
    • 10
  • Betul Yavuz Keles
    • 11
  • Meral Bilgilisoy
    • 12
  • Zeynep Alev Ozcete
    • 13
  • Aylin Demirhan
    • 13
  • Ibrahim Gundogdu
    • 1
  • Murat Inanir
    • 14
  • Yalkin Calik
    • 15
  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic, Ankara Diskapi Yildirim Beyazit Training and Research HospitalUniversity of Health SciencesAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationEge UniversityIzmirTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationUsak UniversityUsakTurkey
  4. 4.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationSelcuk UniversityKonyaTurkey
  5. 5.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationKırıkkale UniversityKirikkaleTurkey
  6. 6.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationCelal Bayar UniversityManisaTurkey
  7. 7.Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Bakırköy Dr. Sadi Konuk Training and Research HospitalUniversity of Health SciencesIstanbulTurkey
  8. 8.Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ankara Training and Research HospitalUniversity of Health SciencesAnkaraTurkey
  9. 9.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  10. 10.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationGaziantep UniversityGaziantepTurkey
  11. 11.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationIstanbul Training and Research HospitalIstanbulTurkey
  12. 12.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationAntalya Training and Research HospitalAntalyaTurkey
  13. 13.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationIzmir Tepecik Training and Research HospitalIzmirTurkey
  14. 14.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationKocaeli UniversityKocaeliTurkey
  15. 15.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationBolu Izzet Baysal Training and Research HospitalBoluTurkey

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