A standard for assessing swallowing function after open partial horizontal laryngectomy (OPHL) is still not established. The variability in the measures used to investigate swallowing functional outcomes after OPHL limits the communication among clinicians and the possibility to compare and combine results from different studies. The study aims to adapt the PAS to the altered anatomy after OPHLs using fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) and to test its reliability. To adapt the PAS, two landmarks were identified: the entry of the laryngeal vestibule and the neoglottis. Ninety patients who underwent an OPHL were recruited (27 type I, 31 type II and 32 type III). FEES was performed and video-recorded. Two speech and language therapists (SLTs) independently rated each FEES using the PAS adapted for OPHL (OPHL-PAS). FEES recordings were rated for a second time by both SLTs at least 15 days from the first video analysis. Inter- and intra-rater agreement was assessed using unweighted Cohen's kappa. Overall, inter-rater agreement of the OPHL-PAS was k = 0.863, while intra-rater agreement was k = 0.854. Concerning different OPHL types, inter- and intra-rater agreement were k = 0.924 and k = 0.914 for type I, k = 0.865 and k = 0.790 for type II, and k = 0.808 and k = 0.858 for type III, respectively. The OPHL-PAS is a reliable scale to assess the invasion of lower airway during swallowing in patients with OPHL using FEES. The study represents the first attempt to define standard tools to assess swallowing functional outcome in this population.
- Deglutition disorders
- Open partial laryngectomy