Validation of the Choking Risk Assessment and Pneumonia Risk Assessment for adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD)

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Journal Article
Research in Developmental Disabilities, 2017, 69 pp. 61 - 76
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© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Background Risk assessments are needed to identify adults with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) at high risk of choking and pneumonia. Aim To describe the development and validation of the Choking Risk Assessment (CRA) and the Pneumonia Risk Assessment (PRA) for adults with IDD. Methods Test items were identified through literature review and focus groups. Five-year retrospective chart reviews identified a positive choking group (PCG), a negative choking group (NCG), a positive pneumonia group (PPG), and a negative pneumonia group (NPG). Participants were tested with the CRA and PRA by clinicians blind to these testing conditions. Results The CRA and PRA differentiated the PCG (n = 93) from the NCG (n = 526) and the PPG (n = 63) from the NPG (n = 209) with high specificity (0.91 and 0.92 respectively) and moderate to average sensitivity (0.53 and 0.62 respectively). Further analyses revealed associations between clinical diagnoses of dysphagia and choking (p = 0.043), and pneumonia (p < 0.001). Conclusions The CRA and PRA are reliable, valid risk indicators for choking and pneumonia in adults with IDD. Precautions for mitigating choking and pneumonia risks can be applied selectively thus avoiding undue impacts on quality of life and unnecessary interventions for low risk individuals.
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