Swallowing problems have significant subjective component. Their evaluation necessitates the use of questionnaires to know both extent of symptoms and effect on quality of life. These should be designed to get maximum information with minimum trouble to the patient. Parkinson's disease (PD) involves swallowing disorder as a symptom, often unreported. Hence, this needs to be assessed separately.
To develop a questionnaire, in the vernacular, to check for the presence of swallowing problems in PD patients and to study its reliability and validity.
Materials and methods
We developed an 11-item questionnaire in English, modeled on the Tel Aviv swallowing disturbance questionnaire (SDQ), chosen for its brevity. This was translated into the vernacular (Malayalam, native tongue of the state of Kerala in India) and administered to patients (n = 106) attending the weekly PD clinic of a tertiary care center, in consultation with the attending n in charge of movement disorder patients. The same questionnaire was also administered to age-matched controls (patients without any swallowing disorders) (n = 63) attending the ear, nose, and throat (ENT); neurology; and geriatric clinics. The scores were documented and statistical analysis done, to check for internal reliability and validity.
Comparison of mean total scores between cases (2.89) and controls (1.51) showed a statistically significant difference, indicating statistical validity (p = 0.009). Guttman's split-half correlation showed fairly good reliability for both cases (0.812) and controls (0.851).
The present questionnaire to assess dysphagia in PD patients has been found to be reliable and valid for use. We recommend it as a screening tool in the neurology outpatient department (OPD).
How to cite this article
Menon U, Radhakrishnan SK, Sundaram KR. Reliability and Validity of a Questionnaire to Assess Swallowing Disorders in Parkinson's Disease Cases. Int J Phonosurg Laryngol 2016;6(2):78-82.