The Burke Dysphagia Screening Test is used to identify patients in the rehabilitation phase following a stroke who are at risk for aspiration pneumonia, recurrent upper airway obstruction and death.


The patient is evaluated for the presence or absence of each of the following items:

(1) bilateral stroke

(2) brainstem stroke

(3) history of pneumonia during the acute stroke phase

(4) coughing associated with feeding or during a 3 ounce water swallow test

(5) persistent failure to consume one half of meals

(6) prolonged time required for feeding

(7) non-oral feeding program in progress









total score =

= SUM(points for all 7 items)



• The Burke Dysphagia Screening Test is considered positive if at least one of the above items is present.

• The Burke Dysphagia Screening Test is considered negative if all of the above items are absent.

• In the initial evaluation, the screening test identified 11 of 12 patients with pneumonia, upper airway obstruction or death.


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