This study focused on the Kuchikara Taberu Balance Chart (KTBC) as a tool for swallowing function evaluation. To clarify the relationship between videoendoscopic (VE) examination of swallowing function and the KTBC, we compared median KTBC scores with and without laryngeal penetration identified by VE. Sixty-five patients with a mean age of 84.3 ± 7.9 years were examined at the Towada City Hospital. The patients were classified into groups based on laryngeal penetration, including 28 patients with and 37 patients without penetration. We found no significant differences in patient backgrounds. The median KTBC score (interquartile range) was 36.5 (31-44.5) in the group with laryngeal penetration and 42 (35-48.5) in the group without penetration, but the scores were not significantly different (level of statistical significance at α = 0.0036 determined by the Bonferroni correction method) when compared with the Mann-Whitney U test (36.5 vs. 42, z = -2.33, p = 0.020). The median respiratory condition (4 vs. 3, z = - 3.23; p < 0.0036), oral preparatory and propulsive phases (4 vs. 3, z = - 2.96; p < 0.0036), and position and endurance (3 vs. 1, z = - 3.25; p < 0.0036) scores were significantly lower in the group without laryngeal penetration. This study revealed a correlation between laryngeal penetration confirmed by VE and KTBC scores. Consequently, respiratory condition, oral preparatory and propulsive phases, and position and endurance may be useful as tools for the assessment of swallowing. In particular, we recommend adding respiratory status to dysphagia screening.

References

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