Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Major Professor

Davis A. Eddins, Ph.D., CCC-AuD

Committee Member

Emily K. Plowman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Committee Member

Teresa E. Pitts, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Committee Member

Michael Barker, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kendall F. Morris, Ph.D.


Dystussia, Dysphagia, Clinical Swallowing Evlaution


Swallowing and cough are two vital functions that are reflexive in nature and are related to each other in terms of shared neural and anatomical space. When a disorder impacts normal and effective swallowing and/or cough, the consequences can be life-threatening. Evaluation and treatment of swallowing and cough disorders can fall under the scope of practice of the speech-language pathologist and speech-language pathologists often are leading professionals. Furthermore, much of the current research on swallowing and cough is spearheaded by speech-language pathologists often working with a multi-disciplinary team. The focus of this dissertation is on the clinical evaluation of cough and swallowing, practice patterns of voluntary cough assessment during the evaluation of swallowing, and novel methods of evaluating acoustic voluntary cough waveforms in patients with and without swallowing impairment. The results will provide important information regarding the state of cough assessment tools for clinical swallowing evaluation, clinical practice patterns of voluntary cough assessment, and differences in acoustic cough signals between safe and unsafe swallowers in individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).