Analysis of the FEES and the MBS (Rao et al., 2003) using simultaneous examinations found that the agreement between the FEES and the MBS was

  • 100% for diet recommendations

  • 96.69% for the presence or absence of aspiration

  • 89.58% for the presence or absence of laryngeal penetration

Furthermore, both Wu et al, 1997 and Kelly, Drinnan, & Leslie concluded that FEES was more sensitive to penetration, aspiration, and pharyngeal residue than the MBS.

Advantages of FEES over HOSPITAL MBS

  • Treating SLP is present for the study

  • DDS sets up and provides real food

  • Study is performed in setting where patient actually eats

  • No time limit: fatigue, postures, and strategies will be evaluated

  • Vital Stim placements can be used and evaluated during the study

  • No need for additional staff or family members to provide transportation

  • No X-Ray exposure

  • Results are available immediately

  • Study can be performed at bedside

  • Original report is given to treating SLP at the end of study

  • DDS cleans up the food and returns the charts

  • No lost therapy time

  • The treating SLP's time is billable

  • Family members and other caregivers can be present for the study

Every time Jennifer is in the building, I don’t just get the best swallow study, I learn something new I can use in practice.
— Stacey L., SLP, Melbourne, FL

Ideally, every patient would have access to both studies. However, the reality is that MBS can be cost-prohibitive, subject the patient to transportation out of the facility, and provide less reliable documentation to the treating speech-language pathologist.