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Res Dev Disabil. 2014 May;35(5):929-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2014.02.017. Epub 2014 Mar 15.

The dysphagia disorder survey: validation of an assessment for swallowing and feeding function in developmental disability.

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Teachers College, Columbia University, Box 180, 525W. 120 Street, New York, NY 10027, USA. Electronic address:
Woodbridge Developmental Center, Department of Speech and Hearing, PO Box 189, Woodbridge, NJ 07095, USA.
Northern Virginia Training Center, 9901 Braddock Road, Fairfax, VA 22032-1941, USA.


Swallowing and feeding disorder (dysphagia) have high incidence and prevalence in children and adults with developmental disability. Standardized screening and clinical assessments are needed to identify and describe the disorder. The aim of this study was to describe the psychometric properties of the Dysphagia Disorder Survey (DDS), a screening and clinical assessment of swallowing and feeding function for eating and drinking developed specifically for this population. The statistical analysis was performed on a sample of 654 individuals (age range 8-82) with intellectual and developmental disability living in two residential settings in the United States that served somewhat different populations. The two samples had similar factor structures. Internal consistency of the DDS and subscales was confirmed using Chronbach's coefficient alpha. The DDS demonstrated convergent validity when compared to judgments of swallowing and feeding disorder severity made by clinical swallowing specialists. Discriminative validity for severity of disorder was tested by comparing the two samples. The results of the study suggest that the DDS is a reliable and valid test for identifying and describing swallowing and feeding disorder in children and adults with developmental disability.


Developmental disability; Dysphagia; Intellectual disability; Screening; Standardized clinical assessment; Swallowing and feeding disorder

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