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Objectivity in Videofluoroscopic Swallow Studies (VFSS) (PD102477)

Presenter(s): Bonnie J Martin-Harris, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S
Course Description

Measurement scales that require a human interface are characterized by some level of subjectivity. The necessary precision of the scale depends, in part, on the clinical purpose or research question that drives the videofluoroscopic study (VFS). This session introduces technological, procedural, and analysis factors that optimize objectivity and reproducibility of clinically valid videofluoroscopic measurements made from modified barium swallow (MBS) studies. The speaker addresses the importance and preferred practices for learning, training, and measurement skill calibration and demonstrates positive and negative influences of clinical bias on VFSS measurement and interpretation. The session presents the value of novel machine vision methods integrated into MBS workflow to aid measurement objectivity and reliability.

This course is a recorded session from the 2022 online conference “Controversies and Consensus in Dysphagia Management.”

Learning Outcomes
After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Discuss factors that optimize objectivity, reproducibility, and validity of measurements made from VFS images
  • Describe the relationship between precision and purpose of VFS measures
  • Implement measurement skill calibration between SLP colleagues in clinical practices
  • Explain the role of machine vision methods for computer-assisted swallowing measurements integrated into the MBS workflow


  • Optimizing objectivity, reproducibility, and validity
  • Precision and purpose of videofluoroscopic study measures
  • Measurement skill calibration
  • Machine vision methods for computer-assisted swallowing measurements 

Presenter Information

Bonnie Martin-Harris, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, is the Alice Gabrielle Twight Professor in the Roxelyn and Richard Pepper Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the School of Communication, at Northwestern University. Her research interests include swallowing impairment, assessment, and treatment approaches for patients with head and neck cancer, neurologic, and pulmonary diseases. Martin-Harris’ research is funded by the NIH, Bracco Diagnostics, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Mark and Evelyn Trammell Foundation. She is a recipient of ASHA Honors of the Association award.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Salary from Northwestern University and Edward Hines, Jr. Veteran's Affairs Hospital
  • Royalties from Northern Speech Services and MUSC Foundation for Research Development
  • Grants from NIH, Veteran's Affairs, and Bracco Diagnostics
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation
  • U.S. provisional patent

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • ASHA member
  • Dysphagia Research Society member

Assessment Type

Self-assessment—Think about what you learned and report on the Completion Form how you will use your new knowledge.

To earn continuing education credit, you must complete the learning assessment by April 30, 2027.

Program History and CE Information

Content origination date: March 2022
End date: April 30, 2027

This course is offered for 0.1 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).

Related Courses

View all courses from the Controversies and Consensus in Dysphagia Management online conference.

Subscribers Ratings
PDH: 1
ASHA CEU*: 0.1
Item #(s): PD102477
Available Through: April 30, 2027