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Dysphagia. 2001 Spring;16(2):110-8.

Inter- and intrajudge reliability for videofluoroscopic swallowing evaluation measures.

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  • 1University of Tennessee, Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, 457 S. Stadium Hall, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA. gmccullo@utk.edu


Interjudge reliability for videofluoroscopic (VFS) swallowing evaluations has been investigated, and results have, for the most part, indicated that reliability is poor. While previous studies are well-designed investigations of interjudge reliability, few reports of intrajudge reliability are available for VFS measures derived from frame-by-frame analysis that clinicians typically employ. The purpose of this study was to examine the inter- and intrajudge reliability of VFS examination measures commonly used to assess swallowing functions. No training to criteria occurred. VFS examinations were conducted on 20 patients who had suffered a stroke within six weeks and had no structural abnormalities or tracheostomies. Three clinical judges served as subjects and rated the VFS examinations from videotape using frame-by-frame analysis. A clinician's repeated review of measures employed in the 20 examinations indicated high intrajudge reliability for a number of measures, suggesting that an experienced clinician may employ consistent standards for rating certain VFS measures across patients and time. These standards appear to vary among clinicians and yield unacceptable interjudge reliability. The need to train clinicians to criteria to improve interjudge reliability is discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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