The Dysphagia Outcome and Severity Scale

Dysphagia. 1999 Summer;14(3):139-45.


The Dysphagia Outcome and Severity Scale (DOSS) is a simple, easy-to-use, 7-point scale developed to systematically rate the functional severity of dysphagia based on objective assessment and make recommendations for diet level, independence level, and type of nutrition. Intra- and interjudge reliabilities of the DOSS was established by four clinicians on 135 consecutive patients who underwent a modified barium swallow procedure at a large teaching hospital. Patients were assigned a severity level, independence level, and nutritional level based on three areas most associated with final recommendations: oral stage bolus transfer, pharyngeal stage retention, and airway protection. Results indicate high interrater (90%) and intrarater (93%) agreement with this scale. Implications are suggested for use of the DOSS in documenting functional outcomes of swallowing and diet status based on objective assessment.

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