Thickener Viscosity in Dysphagia Management: Variability among Speech-Language Pathologists
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Twenty-three speech-language pathologists (SLPs) experienced with thickening liquids for dysphagia evaluations were asked to mix solutions comparable to their perceptions of nectar, honey, and pudding consistencies. The purpose of the study was to determine if these professionals were able to reliably repeat their relative perceptions of nectar, honey, and pudding over multiple mixings. Each mixed solution was analyzed using a viscometer to determine its actual viscosity. A replication reliability analysis indicated that the professionals were not consistent in their attempts to thicken liquids. Intrasubject results were somewhat better or more consistent than intersubject results. Results of this study indicate the need for a standard protocol during dysphagia management to ensure consistent viscosities across evaluation and treatment.
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