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Development of the Arabic Version of Dysphagia Handicap Index (DHI)


The Dysphagia Handicap Index (DHI) is a 25-item self-administered questionnaire. It is a noninvasive tool for measuring the handicapping effect of dysphagia on the physical, functional, and emotional aspects of people’s lives. The purposes of the present study were to develop an Arabic version of the DHI and to evaluate its validity, consistency, and reliability in the normal Arabic population with oropharyngeal dysphagia. This was a prospective study that was carried out at the Communication and Swallowing Disorders Unit, King Saud University. The generated Arabic DHI was administered to 94 patients with oropharyngeal dysphagia and 98 control subjects. Internal consistency and test-retest reliability were evaluated. The results of the patients and the control group were compared. The Arabic DHI showed excellent internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = 0.95). Also, good test–retest reliability was found for the total scores of the Arabic DHI (r = 0.9, p = 0.001). There was a significant difference between the DHI scores of the control group and those of the oropharyngeal dysphagia group (p < 0.001). This study demonstrated that the Arabic DHI is a valid tool for self-assessment of the handicapping effect of dysphagia on the physical, functional, and emotional aspects of patients and can be used by Arabic language speakers.

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The authors extend their appreciation to the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University for funding this work through research group No. RGP-VPP-295. Also, we acknowledge the efforts of Ms. Sheakha Ahmed Al-Qrin (SLP, member of swallowing team) in collecting and entering the data.

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The authors have no conflict of interest to report.

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Correspondence to Tamer A. Mesallam.



See Tables 6 and 7.

Table 6 The Dysphagia Handicap Index (DHI)
Table 7

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Farahat, M., Malki, K.H., Mesallam, T.A. et al. Development of the Arabic Version of Dysphagia Handicap Index (DHI). Dysphagia 29, 459–467 (2014).

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