EAT-10

Assess dysphagia with EAT-10: 10-question tool, which predicts aspiration and risk factors and evaluates swallowing disorders. Streamline care and improve outcomes.

By Joshua Napilay on Jun 03, 2024.

Fact Checked by RJ Gumban.

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What is the EAT-10?

The EAT-10 is a quick and easy tool doctors use to check for swallowing problems. It asks patients ten questions about their experience eating and swallowing. These questions target issues like food getting stuck in the throat, coughing while eating and feeling like swallowing takes extra effort.

Doctors use the EAT-10 score to screen for swallowing difficulties, especially in people with head and neck cancer or stroke. It's a reliable tool validated by research and comes in different languages to ensure clear communication. Early detection of swallowing problems can prevent severe complications like pneumonia.

Beyond its screening abilities, the EAT-10 also helps doctors understand how swallowing difficulties impact a patient's life. This allows them to tailor treatment plans to address the physical aspects of swallowing and the emotional toll it can take. The EAT-10 is just one tool in a doctor's toolbox, but it's valuable for improving patient care and outcomes.

Printable EAT-10 PDF

Download this EAT-10 to help measure swallowing difficulties

Who uses the EAT-10?

The Eating Assessment Tool-10 (EAT-10) is utilized by various healthcare professionals involved in assessing and managing dysphagia and related conditions. These professionals include:

  • Speech-language pathologists (SLPs): SLPs play a vital role in the evaluation and treatment of dysphagia. They often administer the EAT-10 as part of their comprehensive assessment to screen for swallowing difficulties, determine dysphagia severity, and monitor treatment progress.
  • Otolaryngologists (ENTs): Ear, Nose, and Throat specialists may use the EAT-10 as part of their evaluation process for patients with head and neck cancer, reflux or voice disorders, or other conditions affecting swallowing function.
  • Gastroenterologists: Physicians specializing in the digestive system may utilize the EAT-10, particularly in cases of esophageal dysphagia or swallowing disorders related to gastrointestinal conditions.
  • Neurologists: Given that dysphagia is common in various neurological disorders, including stroke, multiple sclerosis, and neurodegenerative diseases, neurologists may employ the EAT-10 to assess swallowing function and monitor patients' progress over time.
  • Geriatricians: Geriatric specialists may use the EAT-10 when evaluating swallowing function in older adults, especially those living in community settings or experiencing geriatric syndromes.
  • Nurses and allied health professionals: Nurses and other allied health professionals working in rehabilitation or acute care settings may administer the EAT-10 under the guidance of SLPs or other clinicians as part of routine screening or ongoing assessment procedures.
  • Researchers and academics: The EAT-10 is also utilized in research studies and clinical trials investigating dysphagia prevalence, treatment outcomes, and the effectiveness of interventions. Researchers may use it to assess baseline swallowing function and measure changes over time.

EAT-10: A comprehensive dysphagia assessment tool

Are you having trouble swallowing? Doctors use the EAT-10 to assess swallowing problems (dysphagia) quickly. This validated tool asks ten simple questions about difficulties like food getting stuck or needing extra effort to swallow.

The EAT-10 score helps doctors screen for swallowing issues, especially those with stroke or head and neck cancer. It's a reliable tool backed by research and comes in different languages for clear communication. Early detection of swallowing problems can prevent severe complications like pneumonia.

Beyond clinical screening alone, the EAT-10 sheds light on how swallowing difficulties impact a patient's life. This allows doctors to tailor treatment plans that address not just the physical aspects but also the emotional toll.

The EAT-10 is just one tool in a doctor's toolbox, but it's valuable for improving patient care and outcomes.

The potential of the EAT-10 approach

The EAT-10 goes beyond being a simple assessment tool. Here's why it stands out:

  • Reliable and validated: Backed by robust research evidence, the EAT-10 offers a reliable and accurate assessment of swallowing difficulties.
  • Comprehensive: The EAT-10 can be used for many patients, including older adults and those with complex conditions.
  • Personalized care: By understanding how swallowing difficulties impact a patient's life, doctors can tailor treatment plans that address their specific needs.
  • Data-driven approach: The EAT-10 provides valuable data for research and developing new dysphagia management strategies.
  • Privacy focused: The EAT-10 adheres to strict privacy standards, protecting patient information.

The EAT-10 continues to evolve, offering a promising path toward a future of optimized dysphagia management with unmatched diagnostic accuracy and effectiveness.

What does the EAT-10 measure?

The Eating Assessment Tool-10 (EAT-10) measures various aspects of eating, swallowing, and quality of life. Specifically, it assesses the severity of dysphagia, or swallowing difficulties, experienced by an individual. 

It consists of ten questions that focus on different aspects of swallowing function and the impact of dysphagia on daily life. These questions cover a range of symptoms, severe complications, and difficulties commonly associated with dysphagia, including:

  • Difficulty swallowing solids
  • Difficulty swallowing liquids
  • Coughing during or after eating or drinking
  • Choking on foods or liquids
  • Taking longer to eat meals
  • Food sticking in the throat.
  • Swallowing food in smaller amounts than usual
  • Avoiding certain foods or liquids due to swallowing difficulties
  • Feeling that food is going the wrong way or getting stuck
  • Coughing or choking when swallowing medications

The EAT-10 quantitatively measures dysphagia severity by assessing responses to these questions, with higher scores indicating more significant impairment screening dysphagia. Additionally, the EAT-10 may also offer insights into the impact of dysphagia on the individual's quality of life, including factors such as dietary restrictions, social interactions, and emotional well-being.

EAT-10 example (sample)

Discover the power of proactive dysphagia management with our free Eating Assessment Tool-10 (EAT-10) template example! Whether you're a healthcare professional seeking a reliable screening tool for dysphagia or an individual concerned about swallowing difficulties, our EAT-10 template offers a convenient and comprehensive solution. 

By downloading our template, you can access a user-friendly questionnaire to assess the severity of dysphagia symptoms and their impact on daily life. With just a few simple steps, you can administer the EAT-10, score the responses, and gain valuable insights into your or your patients' swallowing function. 

Don't wait for dysphagia symptoms to escalate – take proactive steps towards early detection and intervention. Download our free EAT-10 template today and embark on a journey towards improved swallowing health and overall well-being!

Download our free EAT-10 template example here

EAT-10 example

How is the EAT-10 scored?

The Eating Assessment Tool-10 (EAT-10) is scored by assigning numerical values to the responses to the ten questions. The scoring system typically ranges from 0 to 4, with higher scores indicating greater severity of dysphagia symptoms. Here's how the EAT-10 is scored:

For questions 1-9:

  • "No problem" = 0 points
  • "Mild problem" = 1 point
  • "Moderate problem" = 2 points
  • "Severe problem" = 3 points
  • "N/A - Did not eat or drink this way" = 0 points (for questions not applicable to the individual)

For question 10:

  • "No problem" = 0 points
  • "Mild problem" = 2 points
  • "Moderate problem" = 4 points
  • "Severe problem" = 5 points
  • "N/A - Did not take this medication" = 0 points

After obtaining the individual's responses and assigning the corresponding numerical values, the scores for all ten questions are summed to calculate the total EAT-10 score. The total score ranges from 0 to 40, with higher scores indicating more severe dysphagia symptoms and more significant impairment in swallowing function.

Once the total score is calculated, it can be interpreted as follows:

  • 0-3: No clinically significant dysphagia
  • 4-14: Mild dysphagia
  • 15-24: Moderate dysphagia
  • 25-40: Severe dysphagia

Healthcare professionals use the EAT-10 score to assess the severity of dysphagia and guide appropriate interventions, clinical evaluation, treatment planning, and monitoring of dysphagia management over time. It serves as a valuable tool for tracking changes in swallowing function and evaluating the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions.

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What is the EAT-10 assessment?
What is the EAT-10 assessment?

Commonly asked questions

What is the EAT-10 assessment?

The EAT-10 assessment is a tool used to evaluate the severity of dysphagia symptoms. It consists of ten questions to assess swallowing difficulties and their impact on daily life.

What is the cutoff for EAT-10?

The cutoff for the EAT-10 varies, but generally, scores of 3 or less indicate no clinically significant dysphagia, while scores of 15 or higher suggest moderate to severe dysphagia.

Who created the EAT-10?

Steven B. Leder and colleagues at the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City created the Eating Assessment Tool-10 (EAT-10).

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