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Design and Validation of the Oropharyngeal Dysphagia Screening Test for Patients and Professionals: A Preliminary Study


Dysphagia is a very common symptom in people of advanced age and with neurological diseases, although it often remains undiagnosed. At present, there are few assessment tools adapted for the Spanish-speaking population; of the few existing, most of them follow a self-reporting format, which requires a well-preserved cognitive state in the patient in order to be tested. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to design and validate an instrument for screening dysphagia without food, which could have a quick application and did not compromise the patient’s safety. A secondary aim was to study the test’s ability to examine this symptom in people with cognitive disorders. The study was carried out with 206 participants divided into three groups: people with dysphagia and with preserved cognitive abilities, people with dysphagia and with altered cognitive abilities, and people without dysphagia and with preserved cognitive skills (control group). Participants were assessed with the designed Oropharyngeal Dysphagia Screening Test for Patients and Professionals and other dysphagia tests. The results revealed appropriate psychometric features: reliability and validity both for screening dysphagia directly with the patients or if the tester is the professional caregiver responsible for feeding (in cases of altered cognitive abilities). As conclusion, the Oropharyngeal Dysphagia Screening Test for Patients and Professionals is an instrument of easy use and of short duration that has shown adequate results of reliability and validity, thus being useful for the screening of dysphagia in Spanish-speaking populations.

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The research reported in this work is partially funded by the Junta de Andalucía research groups—HUM 820 and HUM129, FEDER Funding. We are grateful to the participants, their families, and staff from the associations involved.

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Correspondence to Francisca Serrano.

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Annex I

Annex I

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figure b
figure c

Note Translation to English is provided in two versions: one for the self-reporting version, which can be answered by the patient (P) in those cases of people with preserved cognitive state and other for the version for professional caregivers (C), which can be used in the case of patients with altered cognitive state. The Spanish version allows the use of the same sentence for the two cases (P and C).

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Quirós, S., Serrano, F. & Mata, S. Design and Validation of the Oropharyngeal Dysphagia Screening Test for Patients and Professionals: A Preliminary Study. Dysphagia 35, 52–65 (2020).

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  • Dysphagia
  • Screening
  • Test
  • Swallowing disorder
  • Validation