Identification of phenotypic patterns of dysphagia: A proof of concept study

Kendrea L. Focht Garand*, Kent E. Armeson, Elizabeth G. Hill, Bonnie Martin-Harris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of the current project was to explore the feasibility for subtyping dysphagia traits or patterns of scores in a subset of data from the Modified Barium Swallow Impairment Profile global registry in patients referred to videofluoroscopic swallowing studies across 5 common medical categories: (a) cardiothoracic, (b) gastroenterology, (c) head and neck cancer, (d) neurology, and (e) pulmonary. Method: Videofluoroscopic swallowing study imaging and Modified Barium Swallow Impairment Profile metrics were used to evaluate 235 patients with dysphagia grouped into 1 of the 5 categories. Two summative domain scores (oral total [OT] and pharyngeal total [PT]) and 17 component scores were tested for differences among the categories. Results: When compared with the gastroenterology category, significantly higher OT/PT scores were observed in neurology and pulmonary categories (all p values <.05). Four oral and 6 pharyngeal domain components significantly differed across medical categories: tongue control during bolus hold (all p values <.04). Conclusions: The results of this feasibility study demonstrate that summative scores of swallowing physiology alone are not sufficiently robust to distinguish subtypes of dysphagia in broad, heterogeneous medical categories. Using OT/PT as subtypes only separated gastroenterology from the other categories, suggesting overlap in OT/PT scores between the latter categories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)988-995
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of speech-language pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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