Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Thesis (UNI Access Only)




Power tests or “challenge” tests for the evaluation of swallowing are lacking. Tests designed to challenge swallowing function may be valuable clinical tools to distinguish between healthy and disordered swallowing. The present study explored if swallowing speed can be reliably quantified by palpation during both water and saliva swallowing conditions compared to instrumental assessment and if the addition of a small, controlled liquid bolus alter swallowing speed compared to a saliva swallowing condition. Ten healthy adults (5 males, 5 females) completed the Five Swallows Speed Test (5SST), that is the completion of five consecutive swallows performed as rapidly as possible, under two counterbalanced conditions: water or saliva swallowing conditions. Each condition was completed during bedside evaluation and fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES). During water swallowing conditions, participants were given continuous water through a straw at a controlled amount of 0.33 milliliters per second. A strong, significant relation was found between measuring swallowing speed by palpation and by visualization on FEES during water swallowing (single measure ICC of .944; p < .001), but not saliva swallowing (p > .05). Swallowing speed was also significantly faster during water swallowing compared to saliva swallowing conditions across all bedside measurement techniques (p < .023). These findings contribute to a better understanding of healthy swallowing speed and suggest controlled water swallowing as an optimal clinical testing condition for swallowing speed compared to saliva swallowing in healthy adults.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Laura Pitts, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (1 volume (unpaged))



File Format


Off-Campus Download