The feasibility of establishing agreement between laboratories for measures of oropharyngeal structural movements

Barbara Roa Pauloski, Alfred W Rademaker, Mark Kern, Reza Shaker, Jeri A. Logemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Kinematic analysis, also commonly referred to as biomechanical analysis, of the swallow is used to measure movement of oropharyngeal structures over time. Two laboratory directors who have used kinematic analysis in their research collaborated to determine the feasibility of establishing agreement between two separate laboratories on measures of structural movements of the swallow. This report describes the process that was followed toward the goal of establishing measurement agreement. Under the direction of the laboratory directors, one research technician from each laboratory participated in a process that included initial meetings, training sessions, and pre- and post-training evaluation of reproducibility. Because agreement on initial measures of structural movement demonstrated weak correlation on some measures, the research technicians trained together for approximately 6 hours. After training, statistical analyses indicated that (a) most Pearson correlations for measures of structural movements were greater than 0.80 and were highly statistically significant; (b) most percentages of absolute deviation were under 25%; and (c) most concordance coefficients were above .70. These statistics indicate that the two laboratories were able to increase their level of agreement in measuring selected structural movements of the swallow after a brief amount of training. Factors affecting measurement agreement include image quality, establishment of rules for measuring, and the opportunity for regular discussions among research assistants and investigators from both laboratories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-19
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing

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