Graduation Date

Spring 5-9-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area

First Advisor

Ka-Chun Siu

Second Advisor

Kathleen G. Volkman

Third Advisor

Cheryl Wagoner


Cervical auscultation (CA) is a technique of monitoring swallowing performance according to swallowing acoustic signals utilizing a stethoscope or other measurement devices such as a microphone and an accelerometer. In the past few years, doctors have utilized the stethoscope to identify the swallowing sounds, which resulted in an inability to accurately diagnose the aspiration/penetration in patients with dysphagia when compared to the gold standard. A digital CA assessment records swallowing acoustic signals and extracts the specific features from the recordings. It has been proven that digital CA as a promising portable and low-cost tool can be used for identifying patients at risk of aspiration. However, further research is required with regards to effects of liquid viscosity, food texture, and demographic and anthropologic features of healthy people before long-term swallowing monitoring among patients with dysphagia. Chapter 1 includes the literature review that discussed history of CA technique development, effects of different boluses and characteristics of participants, effects of head and neck positions, and data analysis of swallowing acoustic signals. In the following chapters, more detailed effects on swallowing acoustic signals will also be presented. Chapter 2 focused on the effects of liquid viscosity and food texture on swallowing performance. Chapter 3 further explored the influences of neck circumference on the swallowing acoustic signals. Chapter 4 provided a summary of overall finding of this thesis and general research limitations and future directions. All references were included in chapter 5 bibliography. Chapter 6 appendices included basic information questionnaire, healthy subject data sheet and consent form.