Inter-rater Agreement of Clinicians ’ Treatment Recommendations Based on Modified Barium Swallow Study Reports

AbstractThe modified barium swallow study (MBSS) is a commonly used radiographic procedure for diagnosis and treatment of swallowing disorders. Despite attempts by dysphagia specialists to standardize the MBSS, most institutions have not adopted such standardized procedures. High variability of assessment patterns arguably contribute to variability of treatment recommendations made from diagnostic information derived from the MBSS report. An online survey was distributed to speech-language pathologists (SLPs) participating in American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) listservs. Sixty-three SLPs who treat swallowing disorders participated. Participating SLPs reviewed two MBSS reports and chose physiologic treatment targets (e.g., tongue base retraction) based on each report. One report primarily contained symptomatology (e.g., aspiration, pharyngeal residue) with minimal information on impaired physiology (e.g., laryngeal incompetence, reduced hyolaryngeal elevation/excursion). In contrast, the second report contained a clear description of impaired physiology to explain the dysphagia symptoms. Fleiss kappa coefficients were used to analyze inter-rater agreement across the high and low physiology report types. Results revealed significantly higher inter-rater agreement across clinicians when reviewing reports with clear explanation(s) of physiologic impairment relative to reports that primarily focused on symptomatology. Clinicians also reported significantly greater...
Source: Dysphagia - Category: Speech-Language Pathology Source Type: research

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