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Quality of Life in Swallowing Disorders (SWAL-QOL)

This instrument is available at SWAL-QOL. For further information please contact Dr. Colleen McHorney at

Supplemental: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Short Description of Instrument
The Quality of Life in Swallowing Disorders (SWAL-QOL) (McHorney et al., 2000a, 2000b, 2002) was specifically designed to assess dysphagia-related impact on patients and its validity has been assessed in varied samples of patients, including patients with neurodegenerative diseases (Rinkel et al., 2009; Timmerman et al., 2014). The SWAL-QOL can be admistered by an interviewer, self-administered, or be completed by a proxy (i.e., a close family member) (McHorney et al., 2000a).
The SWAL-QOL is a 44 item tool that assesses 10 quality-of-life concepts related to swallowing on a 5 point scale. The 10 quality-of-life concepts include: Food selection, Burden, Mental health, Social functioning, Fear, Eating duration, Eating desire, Communication, Sleep and Fatigue (McHorney et al., 2002).
McHorney CA, Bricker DE, Kramer AE, Rosenbek JC, Robbins J, Chignell KA, Logemann JA, Clarke C. The SWAL-QOL outcomes tool for oropharyngeal dysphagia in adults: I. Conceptual foundation and item development. Dysphagia. 2000a;15(3):115–121.
McHorney CA, Bricker DE, Robbins J, Kramer AE, Rosenbek JC, Chignell KA. The SWAL-QOL outcomes tool for oropharyngeal dysphagia in adults: II. Item reduction and preliminary scaling. Dysphagia. 2000b;15(3):122–133.
McHorney CA, Robbins J, Lomax K, et al. The SWAL-QOL and SWAL-CARE outcomes tool for oropharyngeal dysphagia in adults: III. Documentation of reliability and validity. Dysphagia. 2002;17(2):97–114.
Carneiro D, das Gracas Wanderley de Sales Coriolano M, Belo LR, de Marcos Rabelo AR, Asano AG, Lins OG. Quality of life related to swallowing in Parkinson's disease. Dysphagia. 2014;29(5):578–582.
Keage M, Delatycki M, Corben L, Vogel A. A systematic review of self-reported swallowing assessments in progressive neurological disorders. Dysphagia. 2015;30(1):27–46.
McHorney CA, Martin-Harris B, Robbins J, Rosenbek J. Clinical validity of the SWAL-QOL and SWAL-CARE outcome tools with respect to bolus flow measures. Dysphagia. 2006;21(3):141–148.
Plowman-Prine EK, Sapienza CM, Okun MS, et al. The relationship between quality of life and swallowing in Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord. 2009;24(9):1352–1358.
Rinkel RN, Verdonck-de Leeuw IM, Langendijk JA, van Reij EJ, Aaronson NK, Leemans CR. The psychometric and clinical validity of the SWAL-QOL questionnaire in evaluating swallowing problems experienced by patients with oral and oropharyngeal cancer. Oral oncology. 2009;45(8):e67–e71.
Timmerman AA, Speyer R, Heijnen BJ, Klijn-Zwijnenberg IR. Psychometric characteristics of health-related quality-of-life questionnaires in oropharyngeal dysphagia. Dysphagia. 2014;29(2):183–198.