Validation of the GUSS-ICU

The Gugging Swallowing Screen (GUSS) was developed for acute stroke patients. Patients at the intensive care unit (ICU) have a comparable high risk of dysphagia soon after extubation. Screening for dysphagia can prevent aspiration, pneumonia, lower mortality, and shorten re-feeding interval. However, only a few swallowing assessments have been validated for this specific population. Therefore, the GUSS was modified and validated for extubated patients in the ICU in the context of a master thesis at the Department of Clinical Neurosciences and preventive medicine (Troll 2022).

Compared to flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES ) the adapted version of the GUSS, the GUSS-ICU, showed good validity when performed by two speech and languages therapists: The sensitivity was 91.7% and 94.4%; the specificity was 88.9% and 66.7%; the positive predictive values were 97.1% and 91.9%, and the negative predictive values were 72.7% and 75% for the first and second rater pairs, respectively. The interrater reliability showed good agreement (Cohen`s Kappa: 0.84, p < 0.001).

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