Taking the history in patients with swallowing disorders: an international multidisciplinary survey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Clinical assessment of swallowing disorders (dysphagia) requires accurate and comprehensive medical history-taking to further tailor the diagnostic work-up, but functional health care questionnaires show a large variability and various limitations. The aim of this study was to assess the way in which international swallowing experts from various disciplines asses swallowing problems in order to improve the radiologist´s ability to take a thorough medical history in this specific patient group. Methods: A two-step Delphi method was used to collect swallowing experts’ ways of taking the medical history in patients with swallowing disorders. The questions obtained in a first interview round were pooled and structured by dividing them into general and specific questions, including several subcategories, and these were scored by the experts in a second step based on to their clinical relevance. Results: Eighteen experts provided 25 different questions categorized as general questions and 34 dimension-specific questions (eight attributed to ‘suspicion of aspiration,’ 13 to ‘dysphagia,’ six to ‘globus sensation,’ four to ‘non-cardiac chest pain,’ and three to ‘effect of life.’) In the second interview round, the experts´ average predictive values attributed to those questions showed the varying importance of the presented items. Seven general and 13 specific questions (six of them attributed to ‘effect on life’ and seven ‘others’) were also added. Conclusions: This collection of questions reflects the fact that a multidisciplinary approach when obtaining the medical history in patients with swallowing disorders may contribute to an improved technique for performing a symptom-oriented medical history-taking for radiologists of all training levels.


  • Martina Scharitzer
  • Peter Pokieser
  • Michaela Wagner-Menghin
  • Ferdinand Otto
  • Olle Ekberg
External organisations
  • Medical University of Vienna
  • University Hospital Salzburg
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


  • Deglutition, Deglutition disorders, Medical history-taking, Questionnaire
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)786-793
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number3
Early online date2016 Oct 11
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch