Spontaneous swallow frequency compared with clinical screening in the identification of dysphagia in acute stroke

Michael A. Crary, Giselle D. Carnaby, Isaac Sia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background The aim of this study was to compare spontaneous swallow frequency analysis (SFA) with clinical screening protocols for identification of dysphagia in acute stroke.

Methods In all, 62 patients with acute stroke were evaluated for spontaneous swallow frequency rates using a validated acoustic analysis technique. Independent of SFA, these same patients received a routine nurse-administered clinical dysphagia screening as part of standard stroke care. Both screening tools were compared against a validated clinical assessment of dysphagia for acute stroke. In addition, psychometric properties of SFA were compared against published, validated clinical screening protocols.

Results Spontaneous SFA differentiates patients with versus without dysphagia after acute stroke. Using a previously identified cut point based on swallows per minute, spontaneous SFA demonstrated superior ability to identify dysphagia cases compared with a nurse-administered clinical screening tool. In addition, spontaneous SFA demonstrated equal or superior psychometric properties to 4 validated, published clinical dysphagia screening tools.

Conclusions Spontaneous SFA has high potential to identify dysphagia in acute stroke with psychometric properties equal or superior to clinical screening protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2047-2053
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • acute stroke
  • Dysphagia
  • screening
  • swallow frequency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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