Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Barrett, A. & Kelly, H.
5th ESSD Congress: Swallowing disorders: from compensation to recovery
Insight into dysphagia assessment by novice and expert speech and language therapists using eye-tracker technology
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
Videofluoroscopy swallow studies (VFSS) are considered ‘gold standard’ in dysphagia assessment. However, VFSS interpretation requires expertise in the ability to perceive and detect swallowing problems from dynamic images. Eye-tracker technology facilitates an in depth examination of how individuals view the images during the process of deglutition, and how they interpret what they see to form a differential diagnosis. While studies have examined the eye tracking patterns of health professionals in the interpretation of medical images, such as mammograms, chest x-rays and skeletal fractures, no study has examined the interpretation of VFSS using this technology. This exploratory study aimed to (i) examine eye-gaze patterns of novice and expert SLT clinicians in their interpretation of dynamic x-ray images as they differentially diagnose dysphagia, (ii) compare inter-rater reliability between novice and expert SLTs, and (iii) explore if self-reported confidence in clinical judgements differs with experience. A Tobii T120 eye-tracker was used to measure eye-gaze patterns of 5 novice and 4 expert SLTs while differentially diagnosing dysphagia from VFSS. Inter-rater reliability measures were examined using the Dysphagia Outcome Severity Scale, the Penetration-Aspiration Scale and other Swallow Observation Parameters. Participants’ confidence in their clinical decisions was also recorded. Eye-tracking measures revealed that experts focused more on the laryngeal area compared to the novice group, who tended to focus on a wider area of the videofluoroscopy image. Expert SLTs demonstrated greater reliability and confidence in judgments compared to novice SLTs. Distinctive differences were observed between expert and novice groups in how they examined the images, diagnostic accuracy, and self-rated confidence in these clinical judgements. In conclusion, eye-tracking technology provides indepth information into the process of interpreting VFSS and has the potential to become an educational tool for clinicians.