Quantifying oropharyngeal swallowing impairment in response to bolus viscosity

Kendrea L. Focht Garand*, Kent Armeson, Elizabeth G. Hill, Julie Blair, William Pearson, Bonnie Martin-Harris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test the feasibility for quantifying changes in oropharyngeal swallowing impairment in response to alteration in bolus viscosity using a reliable and valid method of observational measurement —the Modified Barium Swallow Impairment Profile (MBSImP). Method: This retrospective analysis included a heterogeneous cohort of 119 patients with suspected dysphagia that underwent a videofluoroscopic swallow-ing study as part of clinical care. Using consensus scoring, two expert clinicians assigned MBSImP scores to components related to oropharyngeal swallowing function between two bolus viscosities (thin liquid and pudding): Epiglottic movement, laryngeal elevation, anterior hyoid excursion, tongue base retraction, pharyngeal stripping wave, and pharyngoesophageal segment opening (PESO). Comparisons between the two bolus viscosities were investigated for each component. Results: Higher (worse) scores were observed in the thin-liquid trial compared with the pudding trial for the following MBSImP components: Anterior hyoid excursion (p =.03), epiglottic movement (p <.001), pharyngeal stripping wave (p <.001), and PESO (p =.002). Lower (better) scores were observed in the liq-uid trial compared with the pudding trial for one component—tongue base retraction (Component 15) only (p <.001). Conclusion: These findings provide further evidence for positive influences of viscosity on the swallow mechanism, including influences of sensory feedback on the sensorimotor swallow program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-467
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of speech-language pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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