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Swallowing Disturbance Questionnaire (SDQ)
Please email the author for information about obtaining the instrument: Dr. Yael Manor,
NeuroRehab Supplemental - Highly Recommended
Recommendations for Use: Indicated for studies requiring a measure of dysphagia. Recommended for Parkinson's Disease.
Supplemental: Parkinson's Disease (PD)
Exploratory: Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) - There are no references to support this measure in pediatrics; not recommended for youth < 18.
Short Description of Instrument
The Swallowing Disturbance Questionnaire (SDQ) is a patient self-reported, 15-item scale that assesses swallowing in Parkinson's disease and dysphagia.
Comments/Special Instructions
The SDQ originally was developed as part of a study examining correlations between objective measures of dysphagia and symptoms of dysphagia.
Each question is scored on a 4-point categorical scale (0–4) with 0 meaning "Never" and 4 meaning "Very Frequently. More than 7 times a week."
Scoring and Psychometric Properties
Scoring: Fourteen of the fifteen questions are scored on a 4-point categorical scale (0-4) with 0 meaning "Never" and 4 meaning "Very Frequently. More than 7 times a week." One of the questions is answered yes-no (and scored yes = 2.5; no = 0.5).  A score of >=11 is considered clinically significant.
Psychometric Properties: Cronbach's = 0.89. N=57 divided into 4 groups by symptoms/complaints; sensitivity=80.5%, specificity=81.3% to detect early dysphagia. Additional clinimetric information is not available. Content validity is not formally discussed.
Strengths: The SDQ is patient friendly, reliable, and straightforward to administer.
Weaknesses: Individuals with Parkinson's disease are not always aware of their deficits. Therefore, perception may be unreliable, and patients may under-report them. Additionally, the patient sample used for validation consisted of individuals referred to a speech language pathologist; therefore, the sample may not be representative.
Key Reference:
Manor Y, Giladi N, Cohen A, Fliss DM, Cohen JT. Validation of a swallowing disturbance questionnaire for detecting dysphagia in patients with Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord. 2007 Oct 15;22(13):1917-21.
Additional References:
Evatt ML, Chaudhuri KR, Chou KL, Cubo E, Hinson V, Kompoliti K, Yang C, Poewe W, Rascol O, Sampaio C, Stebbins GT, Goetz CG. Dysautonomia rating scales in Parkinson's disease:  Sialorrhea, dysphagia, and constipation - critique and recommendations by Movement Disorders Task Force on Rating Scales for Parkinson's Disease.  Mov Disord. 2009 Apr 15;24(5):635-46.  
Perez Lloret S, Pirán Arce G, Rossi M, Caivano Nemet ML, Salsamendi P, Merello M. Validation of a new scale for the evaluation of sialorrhea in patients with Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord. 2007 Jan;22(1):107-11.
Document last updated August 2022