What is a clinically relevant difference in MDADI scores between groups of head and neck cancer patients

Published on May 1, 2016in Laryngoscope2.465
· DOI :10.1002/LARY.25778
Katherine A. Hutcheson33
Estimated H-index: 33
(University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center),
Martha P. Barrow11
Estimated H-index: 11
(University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center)
+ 3 AuthorsJan S. Lewin52
Estimated H-index: 52
Objective/Hypothesis To describe clinically relevant between-group differences in MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory (MDADI) scores among head and neck cancer (HNC) patients. Study Design Retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted in 1,136 HNC patients seen for modified barium swallow (MBS) studies. Methods The MDADI was administered by written questionnaire at the MBS appointment. MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory global, composite, and subscale scores were calculated. Anchor-based methods were employed to determine clinically meaningful between-group differences by feeding tube status, aspiration status (per MBS study), and diet level. Results Mean MDADI scores for the 1,136 patients were: emotional 65.8 ± 17.3, functional 68.1 ± 19.6, physical 60.1 ± 18.6, global 59.3 ± 28.3, and composite 64.0 ± 17.1. Three hundred seventy-eight patients (33%) were feeding tube-dependent; 395 (34.8%) were aspirators; 122 (11%) were nothing per oral (Performance Status Scale-Head and Neck [PSS-HN] diet = 0); and 249 (22%) ate unrestricted, regular diets (PSS-HN diet = 100). Statistically significant (P < 0.0001) between-group differences (feeding tube vs. no feeding tube, aspirator vs. nonaspirator, oral vs. nonoral diet, PSS-HN diet levels) were observed for all mean MDADI scores (global, composite, and subscales). A mean difference of 10 points in composite MDADI scores differentiated feeding tube-dependent from nontube-dependent patients, aspirators from nonaspirators, and distinct PSS-HN diet levels. Conclusions We identify that a 10-point between-group difference in composite MDADI scores was associated with clinically meaningful between-group differences in swallowing function. Level of Evidence 4. Laryngoscope, 126:1108–1113, 2016
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