Accuracy of an epidemiological oropharyngeal dysphagia screening for older adults


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the accuracy of an epidemiological screening questionnaire for oropharyngeal dysphagia in older people. Background: Determining the cut-off point and the accuracy of the self-reported epidemiological questionnaire for screening oropharyngeal dysphagia in older adults is important for mass screening, which may estimate the prevalence of oropharyngeal dysphagia. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional diagnostic study with a convenience sample of 70 older adults over 60 years of age of both sexes, aged between 60 and 90 years (mean age 69.2; SD, 7.6). It used a screening questionnaire with nine ordered items response options resulted in a score ranging from 0 to 18. The criterion test was the fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing, with analysis of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC), with a 5% significance level. Results: Oropharyngeal dysphagia frequency by the criterion test was 73%, with no significant difference between age and sex. The area under the ROC curve was 0.88 (95% confidence interval: 0.79-0.98) above the cut-off point 3. This screening questionnaire showed good parameters of sensitivity (80%), specificity (89%), positive predictive value (95%), negative predictive value (63%), positive likelihood ratio (7.64), negative likelihood ratio (0.22) and accuracy (83%). Conclusions: This questionnaire may be a satisfactory screening tool for estimating the prevalence of oropharyngeal dysphagia in older adults.



ageing, deglutition disorders, health promotion, questionnaire, screening test

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