Generation of Consensus in the Application of a Rating Scale to Nasendoscopic Assessment of Velopharyngeal Function
Objective: To generate consensus ratings of velopharyngeal function on nasendoscopy (NE) with the goal of creating a video instruction tool. Methods: The American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology Velopharyngeal Insufficiency Study Group convened to identify NE segments to be included in an instructional video. Of 24 segments reviewed, 11 were selected based on the quality of the examinations and spectrum of closure patterns. Participating otolaryngologists independently rated NE segments using the Golding-Kushner scale. The participants then convened and rated each of the NE segments as a group. Thirty-nine members of the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology met and agreed with the group ratings, creating a consensus standard. Results: Individual scores for palate and lateral wall motion showed high variability, ranging from 0 to 6 points difference from the consensus. Variability was also seen for the following qualitative findings: the Passavant ridge, aberrant pulsations, and dorsal palatal notch. The individual ratings are presented graphically to demonstrate the range of individual responses as well as to compare responses to the consensus ratings. No further changes were made to the proposed consensus ratings when reviewed by the larger group. Conclusions: Rating of NE evaluations of velopharyngeal function was variable among a group of pediatric otolaryngologists experienced in treating velopharyngeal insufficiency. These results highlight the need to develop a standardized method of reporting NE findings for velopharyngeal insufficiency. Despite this, consensus ratings were achieved that will facilitate development of a video instruction tool.