Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Swallow Screener Reliable for Patients with Stroke

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis; ePub 2018 Mar 20; Behera, et al

The DePaul Hospital Swallow Screener (DHSS) is a valid and reliable swallow screening tool with moderate agreement, high specificity, and reliable predictive values when compared with the Mann Assessment of Swallowing Ability (MASA), a recent study found. Researchers investigated patients admitted under a standard stroke protocol to a comprehensive stroke center. Patients were screened by the nursing staff using the DHSS, composed of a questionnaire containing 8 non-swallow items and a water swallow test, and then objectively evaluated by a speech-language pathologist using the MASA. They found:

  • A total of 224 patients completed the DHSS and had at least 1 MASA score.
  • The overall Content Validity Index score for the DHSS was .92.
  • Compared with the MASA dysphagia cutoff value, the DHSS had a specificity of 93% and a sensitivity of 69%, and compared with the MASA aspiration risk cutoff value, the DHSS had a specificity of 90% and a sensitivity of 70%.


Behera A, Read D, Jackson N, Saour B, Alshekhlee D, Mosier AK. A validated swallow screener for dysphagia and aspiration in patients with stroke. [Published online ahead of print March 20, 2018]. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. doi:10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2018.02.037.

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