Classification of Physiologic Swallowing Impairment Severity: A Latent Class Analysis of Modified Barium Swallow Impairment Profile Scores

Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2020 Jul 10;29(2S):1001-1011. doi: 10.1044/2020_AJSLP-19-00080. Epub 2020 Jul 10.


Purpose Our objectives were to (a) identify oral and pharyngeal physiologic swallowing impairment severity classes based on latent class analyses (LCAs) of the Modified Barium Swallow Impairment Profile (MBSImP) swallow task scores and (b) quantify the probability of severity class membership given composite MBSImP oral total (OT) and pharyngeal total (PT) scores. Method MBSImP scores were collected from a patient database of 319 consecutive modified barium swallow studies. Because of missing swallow task scores, LCA was performed using 25 multiply imputed data sets. Results LCA revealed a three-class structure for both oral and pharyngeal models. We identified OT and PT score intervals to assign subjects to oral and pharyngeal impairment latent severity classes, respectively, with high probability (probability of class membership ≥ 0.9 given OT or PT scores within specified ranges) and high confidence (95% credible interval [CI] widths ≤ 0.24 for all total scores within specified ranges). OT scores ranging from 0 to 10 and from 14 to 18 yielded assignments in Oral Latent Classes 1 and 2, respectively, while OT = 22 was assigned to Oral Latent Class 3. PT scores ranging from 0 to 13 and from 18 to 24 yielded assignments in Pharyngeal Latent Classes 1 and 2, respectively, while PT = 26 was assigned to Pharyngeal Latent Class 3. Conclusions LCA of MBSImP task-level data revealed significant underlying oral and pharyngeal ordinal class structures representing increasingly severe gradations of physiologic swallow impairment. Clinically meaningful OT and PT score ranges were derived facilitating latent class assignment. Supplemental Material