Date of Graduation

Spring 2008


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Kathryn Hope


The purpose of this study was to test the interrater reliability of a nursing dysphagia screen. The incidence of dysphagia immediately following stroke has been estimated as high as 70%, with the highest risk in the first few weeks (Nishiwaki, Tsuji, Liu, Hase, Tanaka, Fujiwara, 2002). Hinchey and associates (2005) found that the use of a formal dysphagia screening protocol reduced the incidence of pneumonia in acute stroke patients significantly. Unfortunately there is no gold standard nursing dysphagia screen. This study used a structured, prospective, non-experimental, one group design, with cross-sectional data collection and the use of a convenience sample (N=30). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and Cohen's Kappa for interrater reliability. The St. John's Hospital Bedside Dysphagia Screen was found to have poor to moderate interrater reliability on half of its components. The dysphagia screen had Kappa values that ranged from 0.38 to 0.75 with a mean for all items of 0.57. Future research should focus on the psychometric properties and retesting the interrater reliability of the St. John's Hospital Bedside Dysphagia Screen.


stroke, cerebrovascular accident, brain attack, dysphagia, nursing dysphagia screen

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© Brian George Wagoner

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