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The Visual Dysphagia Questionnaire: Evaluating the first Tool for Assessing Food Consistency-Dependent Dysphagia in Eosinophilic Esophagitis
Title of the conference
Annual meeting of the Swiss Society of Gastroenterology, Swiss Society for Visceral Surgery, Swiss Association for the Study of the Liver
EEsAI Study Group
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 29-30, 2011
Swiss Medical Weekly
Background and Aims: The international EEsAI study group iscurrently developing the first a ctivity index specific forEosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE). None of the existing dysphagiaquestionnaires take into account the consistency of theingested food t hat considerably impacts the symptompresentation. Goal: To d evelop and evaluate an E oE-specificquestionnaire assessing dysphagia caused by foods of differentconsistencies.Methods: B ased on patient interviews and chart reviews, a nexpert panel ( EEsAI study g roup) identified internationallystandardizedfood prototypes t ypically a ssociated with EoErelateddysphagia. Food consistencies were c orrelated withEoE-related d ysphagia, t aking into account p otential f oodavoidance and f ood processing. This V isual D ysphagiaQuestionnaire (VDQ) was piloted in 20 patients and is currentlyevaluated in a cohort of 150 adult EoE patients.Results: T he following 8 food c onsistency prototypes w ereidentified: soft foods (pudding, jelly), grits, toast bread, Frenchfries, dry rice, ground meat, raw fibrous f oods (eg. apple,carrot), s olid m eat. Dysphagia was r anked o n a 4-point Likertscale (0=no difficulties; 3= severe difficulties, food will not pass).First analysis demonstrated that severity of dysphagia is relatedto the eosinophil load and presence of esophageal strictures.Conclusions: T he VDQ i s the first EoE-specific tool f orassessing dysphagia caused by i nternationally-standardizedfoods of different consistencies. This instrument also addressesfood avoidance behaviour and food processing habits. This toolperformed well in a p ilot study a nd is currently evaluated in acohort of 150 adult EoE patients.
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