Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Thesis (UNI Access Only)




Swallowing frequency counts can serve as an objective measure of swallowing function and therefore could be used as a power test (i.e., a test that quantifies behavior within a timed interval). Despite the prevalence of power tests as outcome measures in physical rehabilitation, swallowing power tests are little researched. Therefore, the validity of frequency counts of volitional swallowing by palpation, the parameters of normal performance in healthy adults, and the optimal testing conditions should be established. Specifically, this project sought to answer the following research questions: 1. Is palpation of repetitive swallowing a valid measure of swallowing frequency when compared to concurrent instrumental examination (i.e., fiberoptic endscopic evaluation of swallowing, FEES)?, and 2. Does the addition of small, volume-controlled amounts of thin liquid alter swallowing frequency counts during a 30-second swallowing endurance task (30SST)? This project was part of a larger investigation which included two additional studies investigating swallowing speed (Neely, 2016), the relation between performance on swallowing power tests and lingual palatal pressures (Joerger, 2016), and swallowing frequency counts in persons with traumatic brain injury. The 30SST was completed under two counterbalanced conditions: water swallowing and dry saliva swallowing conditions for ten healthy adults (5 males, 5 females). The water swallowing condition included the administration of water at constant flow rate of .3 mL per second. Both conditions were tested during beside evaluation and with concurrent FEES. A strong and significant degree of relation was found between swallowing frequency counts by palpation and by visualization during FEES during water swallowing; however, only a moderate, yet significant, relation between palpation and FEES was found during the saliva swallowing condition. Furthermore, volitional swallow frequency counts were significantly greater during water swallowing compared to the saliva swallowing condition during FEES. A better understanding of healthy, volitional swallowing frequency counts under both conditions may advance the development of functional power tests for dysphagia rehabilitation.

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