Correlation Between EAT-10 and Aspiration Risk Differs by Dysphagia Etiology

Rebecca S. Bartlett, Mary K. Kenz, Heidi A. Wayment, Susan L. Thibeault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Agreement between self-reported dysphagic symptoms and actual swallowing physiology can vary widely across individuals. The Eating Assessment Tool-10 (EAT-10) is a self-report questionnaire commonly used to identify individuals with oropharyngeal dysphagia, but its interpretation for highly prevalent populations is poorly defined. Our primary objective was to determine if correlation strength between EAT-10 and Penetration–Aspiration Scale (PAS) scores differed by dysphagia etiology. Our secondary objective was to identify clinical factors that were associated with a mismatch between EAT-10 scores and videofluoroscopic findings. Outpatients with Parkinson disease (PD), stroke, and/or head and neck cancer (HNC) who completed EAT-10 and underwent videofluoroscopy were included (n = 203). EAT-10/PAS correlations were calculated by dysphagia etiology. We found that across the sample, higher EAT-10 scores were significantly correlated to higher PAS scores (rs = 0.31, p < 0.001). EAT-10 and PAS were moderately correlated in the HNC group (rs = 0.41, p < 0.001, n = 87), but correlations were modest in the PD (rs = 0.18, n = 41) and stroke groups (rs = 0.12, n = 59). Clinical characteristics of individuals with a “matched” profile (normal EAT-10 score and normal swallow physiology) and a “mismatched” profile (normal EAT-10 score and abnormal swallow physiology) were also compared. Individuals with a “mismatched” EAT-10/PAS profile appeared to be significantly older and had a worse Charlson Comorbidity Index than individuals with a “matched” profile. Within the HNC subgroup, EAT-10/PAS correlations for specific tumor sites, treatment types, and time since treatment are reported. Clinicians may consider these aspiration risk profiles when making recommendations for instrumented swallowing assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-20
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • EAT-10
  • Head and neck cancer
  • PAS
  • Parkinson disease
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Speech and Hearing


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