Date of Graduation

Spring 2014


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Klaas Bakker


dysphagia, cervical auscultation, digital cervical auscultation, swallowing assessment, biofeedback

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


There is currently a dearth of resources available for speech language pathologists working in settings outside of hospitals for ongoing assessment for dysphagia and for biofeedback for dysphagia therapy. The purpose of the current study was to determine the feasibility of adding an acoustic procedure to digital cervical auscultation that would provide information regarding the physiological changes that take place in the laryngopharynx during swallowing. This was accomplished by presenting white noise to the carotid triangle on one side of the neck and then recording auscultation plus changes in the white noise on the opposite carotid triangle following swallowing. Swallowing signals were analyzed perceptually, qualitatively, and quantitatively. Perceptual analysis revealed a distinct rise in the intensity of higher frequency sounds. Qualitative analysis of swallowing signals supported this. A profile analysis of the interaction between bolus size and white noise swallows versus swallows without the addition of white noise was not significant, F(3,3) = 4.017 p=.142, η2 = .801. The large effect size suggests the study suffered from a small number of participants. Future research should address the low power of the current study by replicating the study's design, but with more participants. Future research on the interaction between the physiological process of deglutition and changes in resonance is also warranted.


© Darin Lee Shirley

Campus Only