Psychometric Properties of Visuoperceptual Measures of Videofluoroscopic and Fibre-Endoscopic Evaluations of Swallowing: A Systematic Review
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Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) and Videofluoroscopic Swallow Studies (VFSS) are instrumental assessments of dysphagia which provide videos of the internal structures of swallowing. They are commonly regarded as ‘gold-standard’ assessments; however, there is no consensus regarding a gold-standard measure to analyse the video recordings that they produce. Measures require sound psychometric properties to be suitable for clinical or research purposes. To date, no review of psychometric properties of FEES and VFSS measures has been undertaken or formally reported. This review assessed the quality of the psychometric properties of visuoperceptual measures of FEES and VFSS. Electronic databases were searched for studies reporting on psychometric qualities of visuoperceptual measures which are used to analyse recordings from FEES and VFSS. All dates until February 2017 were included. The Consensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement Instruments (COSMIN) checklist was used to evaluate the methodical quality of studies. The measures’ overall quality was then assessed by combining COSMIN ratings with quality criteria. Forty-five studies, reporting on 39 measures, met the inclusion criteria for this review. Data about the measures’ psychometric properties were very limited. Twenty-one measures had information available about reliability only, while 18 had information on up to five of the possible nine psychometric properties categorised within the COSMIN framework. The majority of the FEES and VFSS measures’ psychometric properties were rated as ‘indeterminate’ overall, due to the small number of studies, issues with design, statistical analyses, and reporting practices of extant studies. There is insufficient evidence to recommend any individual measure included in this review as valid and reliable to interpret VFSS and FEES recordings. Further research, which utilises robust methodological design and reporting, is needed to examine the psychometric properties of measures for FEES and VFSS.
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