Validation of the yale swallow protocol in post-acute care: A prospective, double-blind, multirater study

Matthew Ward, Michelle Skelley-Ashford, Karen Brown, John Ashford, Debra Suiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: A systematic approach to the diagnosis and treatment of swallowing disorders relies heavily on valid and reliable screening protocols that provide clinicians with clear and objective information. The Yale Swallow Protocol (YSP) has been shown to be a useful, valid, and reliable screening tool for aspiration risk in the acute care setting. However, the YSP was not validated for use in post-acute care. This study evaluated the clinical utility of the YSP in the post-acute care setting. Method: This prospective, double-blind, multirater study included a referred sample of 240 individuals, with varying medical diagnoses, who completed the YSP and an endoscopic evaluation of swallowing. Results: Sensitivity for the YSP was 95.4%, specificity was 66.9%, positive predictive value was 77.6%, and negative predictive value was 92.4%. Conclusions: The data from this prospective study appear to support the use of the YSP in post-acute care due to the ability to use the protocol on virtually all patients—regardless of diagnosis—and its high sensitivity and negative predictive value.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1937-1943
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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