Relationships Among Subjective and Objective Measures of Tongue Strength and Oral Phase Swallowing Impairments A growing literature documents the relationship between tongue strength and oral phase swallowing function. Objective measures of strength have been recommended as more valid and reliable than subjective measures for the assessment of tongue function, yet subjective measures remain the more commonly used clinical method for assessing tongue strength. This ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2003
Relationships Among Subjective and Objective Measures of Tongue Strength and Oral Phase Swallowing Impairments
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Heather M. Clark, PhD
    Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
  • Pamela A. Henson
    Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
  • William D. Barber
    Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
  • Julie A. G. Stierwalt
    Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield
  • Michael Sherrill
    Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
  • Contact author: Heather M. Clark, PhD, Department of Language, Reading, and Exceptionalities, P.O. Box 32085, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28608. E-mail: clarkhm@appstate.edu
  • *Currently affiliated with Florida State University, Tallahassee
    *Currently affiliated with Florida State University, Tallahassee×
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2003
Relationships Among Subjective and Objective Measures of Tongue Strength and Oral Phase Swallowing Impairments
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2003, Vol. 12, 40-50. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2003/051)
History: Received February 11, 2002 , Accepted March 8, 2002
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2003, Vol. 12, 40-50. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2003/051)
History: Received February 11, 2002; Accepted March 8, 2002
Web of Science® Times Cited: 51

A growing literature documents the relationship between tongue strength and oral phase swallowing function. Objective measures of strength have been recommended as more valid and reliable than subjective measures for the assessment of tongue function, yet subjective measures remain the more commonly used clinical method for assessing tongue strength. This study assessed the relationships among subjective and objective measures of tongue strength and oral phase swallowing impairments. Both subjective and objective measures of tongue strength were observed to be good predictors of the presence of oral phase swallowing impairments. The specific oral phase swallowing functions of bolus manipulation, mastication, and clearance were moderately correlated with subjective ratings of tongue strength. Experienced and inexperienced raters appeared to judge tongue strength differently, with the ratings of experienced raters being more predictive of swallowing function.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by a grant from the Appalachian State University Research Council. We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the graduate students who participated in the project, and of the patients who allowed us to include their assessment results in our study.
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