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Ann Rehabil Med. 2017 Aug;41(4):631-637. English. Original Article.
Moon CW , Jung HG , Cheon HJ , Oh SM , Ki YO , Kwon JY .
Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

OBJECTIVE: To propose a new scale, the Feeding and Swallowing Scale for Premature Infants (FSSPI), based on videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) findings and to verify the reliability and validity of the FSSPI. METHODS: One hundred thirty preterm infants who had undergone VFSS were enrolled in this retrospective study. The FSSPI was developed by referring to the Baby Regulated Organization of Subsystems and Sucking approach. The FSSPI score for each VFSS video was evaluated by a physiatrist as well as by three experienced speech-language pathologists. To verify the reliability of the FSSPI, the inter-evaluator and intra-evaluator associations for the FSSPI scores were analyzed. To verify the validity of the FSSPI, the association between FSSPI scores and clinical characteristics including prognosis-related factors was analyzed. RESULTS: The mean gestational age was 27.3±2.8 weeks. The FSSPI showed a high degree of both intra-rater reliability and inter-rater reliability. Also, there was a significant negative correlation between the FSSPI score and corrected age (CA) at the time of performing VFSS. Further, a significant positive correlation was observed between the FSSPI score and CA at the time of achieving full oral feeding. A significant negative correlation was observed between the FSSPI score and weight gain, between the 1st and 2nd month after birth, and between the 2nd and 3rd month after birth, respectively. CONCLUSION: In this study, we proposed a new clinical scale using VFSS to reflect the development of feeding and swallowing skills in preterm infants. Further, we verified the reliability and validity of the scale.

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