, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 83–89 | Cite as

Relationship Between the Eating Assessment Tool-10 and Objective Clinical Ratings of Swallowing Function in Individuals with Head and Neck Cancer

  • Loni C. ArreseEmail author
  • Ricardo Carrau
  • Emily K. Plowman
Original Article


The Eating Assessment Tool-10 (EAT-10) represents a validated, easy to administer patient report dysphagia severity scale. Although its ability to detect swallowing impairment has been investigated in other patient populations, the utility of this instrument in individuals with head and neck cancer (HNC) has not been studied. The aim of the current investigation was to determine the relationship between patient ratings of swallowing impairment (EAT-10) and objective clinical ratings of swallow physiology in individuals with HNC. Forty-four HNC participants completed the EAT-10 and a standardized videofluoroscopy swallow study. Blinded raters determined airway safety using the penetration–aspiration scale (PAS) and swallowing function using the modified barium swallow impairment profile (MBSImP™©). Participants were stratified into three groups (pre-treatment through 1 year post-treatment, 1–5 years post-treatment, and >5 years post-treatment). Independent t tests, Pearson’s and Spearman’s Rho correlations, and a Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons were performed. EAT-10 scores were significantly higher in HNC patients with unsafe swallowing (M 24.45, SD 8.32) compared to those with safe swallowing (M 16.20, SD 12.14), t(21) = −2.36, p  < 0.04. Significant correlations were revealed between EAT-10 scores and the MBSImP™© (pharyngeal composite), and PAS scores (p < 0.05) for the pre-treatment to within 1 year post-treatment group. No associations, however, were observed for HNC patients in the time groups representing greater than 1-year post cancer treatment.


Eating assessment tool-10 Head and neck cancer Modified barium swallow impairment profile Penetration–aspiration scale Dysphagia outcomes tool Deglutition Deglutition disorders 



The authors would like to thank Meredith Hunt, MA, CCC-SLP and Jennifer Graham, MS, CCC-SLP for their assistance with data collection.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Loni C. Arrese
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ricardo Carrau
    • 1
  • Emily K. Plowman
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck SurgeryThe Ohio State University Wexner Medical CenterColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, Neuromotor Speech and Swallowing Restoration LaboratoryUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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