Development and validation of the brief esophageal dysphagia questionnaire

T. H. Taft*, M. Riehl, J. B. Sodikoff, P. J. Kahrilas, L. Keefer, B. Doerfler, J. E. Pandolfino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Background: Esophageal dysphagia is common in gastroenterology practice and has multiple etiologies. A complication for some patients with dysphagia is food impaction. A valid and reliable questionnaire to rapidly evaluate esophageal dysphagia and impaction symptoms can aid the gastroenterologist in gathering information to inform treatment approach and further evaluation, including endoscopy. Methods: 1638 patients participated over two study phases. 744 participants completed the Brief Esophageal Dysphagia Questionnaire (BEDQ) for phase 1; 869 completed the BEDQ, Visceral Sensitivity Index, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Questionnaire, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale for phase 2. Demographic and clinical data were obtained via the electronic medical record. The BEDQ was evaluated for internal consistency, split-half reliability, ceiling and floor effects, and construct validity. Key Results: The BEDQ demonstrated excellent internal consistency, reliability, and construct validity. The symptom frequency and severity scales scored above the standard acceptable cutoffs for reliability while the impaction subscale yielded poor internal consistency and split-half reliability; thus the impaction items were deemed qualifiers only and removed from the total score. No significant ceiling or floor effects were found with the exception of 1 item, and inter-item correlations fell within accepted ranges. Construct validity was supported by moderate yet significant correlations with other measures. The predictive ability of the BEDQ was small but significant. Conclusions & Inferences: The BEDQ represents a rapid, reliable, and valid assessment tool for esophageal dysphagia with food impaction for clinical practice that differentiates between patients with major motor dysfunction and mechanical obstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1854-1860
Number of pages7
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • esophageal dysphagia
  • food impaction
  • questionnaire validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology


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