Validation of predictive factors of dysphagia risk following thermal burns: a prospective cohort study

Rumbach, Anna F., Ward, Elizabeth C., Heaton, Sarah, Bassett, Lynell V., Webster, Anne and Muller, Michael J. (2014) Validation of predictive factors of dysphagia risk following thermal burns: a prospective cohort study. Burns, 40 4: 744-750. doi:10.1016/j.burns.2013.09.020

Author Rumbach, Anna F.
Ward, Elizabeth C.
Heaton, Sarah
Bassett, Lynell V.
Webster, Anne
Muller, Michael J.
Title Validation of predictive factors of dysphagia risk following thermal burns: a prospective cohort study
Journal name Burns   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0305-4179
Publication date 2014-06-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.burns.2013.09.020
Open Access Status
Volume 40
Issue 4
Start page 744
End page 750
Total pages 7
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose: The objective of this study was to prospectively evaluate the validity and reliability of a risk factor model developed for use in predicting dysphagia risk within the first 24 h after injury/hospitalisation in patients with thermal burns.

Method(s): Three hundred and fifty six patients with thermal burns, with or without inhalation injury, who were consecutively admitted to and received management at a quaternary state-wide burn center over a 12 month period, were included. Patients were reviewed for dysphagia risk by nursing staff using an established set of predictive factors. If risk factors for dysphagia were present, referral to speech-language pathology was initiated to investigate swallow function.

Result(s): Of the 356 admissions, 83 patients were identified as meeting one or more risk criteria for dysphagia after burn.Of these, 24.9% (n = 30; 8.42% of the total cohort) presented with dysphagia. Using these criteria, sensitivity and specificity for detection of dysphagia risk were high (100% and 83.74%, respectively). The criteria over identify patients who may be at risk of dysphagia and who require dysphagia assessment (positive predictive value = 36.14%). However, as a set of predictors of dysphagia risk when thermal burn is the only complaint, a negative result reassures that a patient does not have dysphagia (negative predictive value = 100%).

Conclusion: Overall, the risk factor model provided a valid measure for predicting dysphagia risk. Incorporating these criteria into a dysphagia screening assessment can ensure an evidence-based pathway for early detection and timely referral to speech-language pathology for patients at risk of dysphagia after thermal burns.
Keyword Dysphagia
Referral criteria
Early intervention
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print 28 October 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 17 Feb 2014, 23:37:13 EST by Ms Anna Rumbach on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences