Behavioral treatment of chronic belching due to aerophagia in a normal adult

Jeffrey A. Cigrang, Christine M. Hunter, Alan L. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Aerophagia, or excessive air swallowing, is a potential cause of belching, flatulence, bloating, and abdominal pain and may contribute to a worsening of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. A limited number of published reports of aerophagia treatment indicate that behavioral methods may be of benefit. A case report is presented describing the behavioral treatment of chronic belching due to aerophagia in an adult female. The collaborative application of single-participant design research helped identify open-mouth, diaphragmatic breathing and minimized swallowing as an effective intervention. Belching frequency was reduced from an average rate of 18 per 5-min interval during the baseline period to 3 per 5-min period after treatment. Results were maintained at an 18-month follow-up. Recommendations for the use of a brief treatment protocol with adults referred for chronic belching or other GI complaints attributed to aerophagia are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-351
Number of pages11
JournalBehavior Modification
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Aerophagia
  • Behavioral treatment
  • Gastrointestinal disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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