Dysphagia

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 460–472 | Cite as

Validity of Conducting Clinical Dysphagia Assessments for Patients with Normal to Mild Cognitive Impairment via Telerehabilitation

  • Elizabeth C. Ward
  • Shobha Sharma
  • Clare Burns
  • Deborah Theodoros
  • Trevor Russell
Original Article

Abstract

To assess the validity of conducting clinical dysphagia assessments via telerehabilitation, 40 individuals with dysphagia from various etiologies were assessed simultaneously by a face-to-face speech-language pathologist (FTF-SLP) and a telerehabilitation SLP (T-SLP) via an Internet-based videoconferencing telerehabilitation system. Dysphagia status was assessed using a Clinical Swallowing Examination (CSE) protocol, delivered via a specialized telerehabilitation videoconferencing system and involving the use of an assistant at the patient’s end of the consultation to facilitate the assessment. Levels of agreement between the FTF-SLP and T-SLP revealed that the majority of parameters reached set levels of clinically acceptable levels of agreement. Specifically, agreement between the T-SLP and FTF-SLP ratings for the oral, oromotor, and laryngeal function tasks revealed levels of exact agreement ranging from 75 to 100% (kappa = 0.36–1.0), while the parameters relating to food and fluid trials ranged in exact agreement from 79 to 100% (kappa = 0.61–1.0). Across the parameters related to aspiration risk and clinical management, exact agreement ranged between 79 and 100% (kappa = 0.49–1.0). The data show that a CSE conducted via telerehabilitation can provide valid and reliable outcomes comparable to clinical decisions made in the FTF environment.

Keywords

Deglutition Deglutition disorders Telerehabilitation Dysphagia Swallowing disorders Aspiration Clinical swallowing examination Videoconferencing 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth C. Ward
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • Shobha Sharma
    • 1
    • 3
  • Clare Burns
    • 4
  • Deborah Theodoros
    • 1
  • Trevor Russell
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Queensland, School of Health and Rehabilitation SciencesBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Functioning and Health ResearchQueensland HealthBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.School of Rehabilitation SciencesNational University of MalaysiaBangiMalaysia
  4. 4.Speech Pathology DepartmentRoyal Brisbane and Women’s HospitalBrisbaneAustralia
  5. 5.Division of Speech PathologySchool of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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