European Geriatric Medicine

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 47–52 | Cite as

The Easy Dysphagia Symptom Questionnaire (EDSQ): a new dysphagia screening questionnaire for the older adults

  • Kyeong Eun Uhm
  • Minsun Kim
  • Yong Min Lee
  • Bo-Ram Kim
  • Yoon-Sook Kim
  • Jaekyung Choi
  • Seol-Heui Han
  • Hee Joung Kim
  • Kwang Ha Yoo
  • Jongmin LeeEmail author
Research Paper



The early detection of dysphagia, a common clinical issue among older adults, is important. However, healthcare professionals sometimes experience difficulties in applying the current screening tools to older adults. Therefore, we developed the Easy Dysphagia Symptom Questionnaire (EDSQ), a simplified tool for the older adults, and investigated its reliability and validity.


The 12-item “yes/no” EDSQ assesses dysphagia symptoms, with a total score being the sum of all “yes” responses. Each item was determined by consensus of three physiatrists after reviewing the previous dysphagia questionnaires. Participants were aged 65 years or older who either complained of or were suspected by a physician of facing swallowing disturbance. They completed the EDSQ, modified water swallow test (MWST), and videofluoroscopic swallowing study. The EDSQ’s internal consistency was assessed. Correlations between the EDSQ total score and the MWST, American Speech–Language–Hearing Association’s National Outcome Measurement System (ASHA NOMS) swallowing scale, and videofluoroscopic dysphagia scale (VDS) were analyzed.


The sample comprised 51 participants (29 male, 56.9%; mean age 76.7 ± 6.6 years). Mean EDSQ total score was 4.33 ± 3.03 (range 0–12). Regarding the EDSQ’s reliability, the Cronbach’s α coefficient was 0.785. The EDSQ total score correlated with the MWST (r = − 0.468, p = 0.001), ASHA NOMS swallowing scale (r = − 0.635, p < 0.001), and VDS (r = 0.449, p = 0.001). The receiver-operating characteristic analysis revealed an optimal cut-off score of ≥ 5, with a sensitivity of 90.9% and a specificity of 67.5%.


The EDSQ showed acceptable reliability and validity, indicating its applicability to older adults as a simple screening tool for safe swallowing.


Dysphagia Deglutition Swallowing disturbance Questionnaire Older adults 



This research was supported by a grant (Grant number: HI16C0526) from the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea.


This research had no financial relationships with any organizations.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional Review Board of Konkuk University Medical Center and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© European Geriatric Medicine Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyeong Eun Uhm
    • 1
  • Minsun Kim
    • 1
  • Yong Min Lee
    • 1
  • Bo-Ram Kim
    • 1
  • Yoon-Sook Kim
    • 2
  • Jaekyung Choi
    • 3
  • Seol-Heui Han
    • 4
  • Hee Joung Kim
    • 5
  • Kwang Ha Yoo
    • 5
  • Jongmin Lee
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Rehabilitation MedicineKonkuk University School of MedicineSeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of Quality ImprovementKonkuk University Medical CenterSeoulKorea
  3. 3.Department of Family MedicineKonkuk University School of MedicineSeoulKorea
  4. 4.Department of NeurologyKonkuk University School of MedicineSeoulKorea
  5. 5.Department of Internal MedicineKonkuk University School of MedicineSeoulKorea

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