Exercise-based swallowing intervention (McNeill Dysphagia Therapy) with adjunctive NMES to treat dysphagia post-stroke: A double-blind placebo-controlled trial

Giselle D. Carnaby, Lisa LaGorio, Scott Silliman, Michael Crary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Dysphagia following stroke is prevalent; however, dysphagia treatment is often applied haphazardly and outcomes unclear. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) has received increased attention as a treatment for post-stroke dysphagia; but application data remain conflicted. Objective: This study investigated effectiveness and safety of an exercise-based swallowing therapy (McNeill Dysphagia Therapy: MDTP) +NMES for dysphagia rehabilitation following stroke. Methods: Stroke patients (n = 53, x̅ age: 66 [13.2], 47.2% male) with dysphagia admitted to sub-acute rehabilitation hospital were randomised to MDTP + NMES [NMES], MDTP + sham NMES [MDTP] or usual care [UC] swallowing therapy groups. Patients were treated for 1 hour per day for 3 weeks and monitored to 3 months by a blinded evaluator. Outcomes included clinical swallowing ability, oral intake, weight, patient perception of swallow and occurrence of dysphagia-related complications. Results: Post-treatment dysphagia severity and treatment response were significantly different between groups (P ≤.0001). MDTP demonstrated greater positive change than either NMES or UC arms, including increase in oral intake (χ2 = 5, P ≤.022) and improved functional outcome by 3 months post-stroke (RR = 1.72, 1.04-2.84). Exploratory Cox regression revealed the MDTP group conferred the greatest benefit in time to “return to pre-stroke diet” of 4.317 [95% CI: 1.08- 17.2, P<.03]. Conclusion: Greater benefit (eg reduction in dysphagia severity, improved oral intake and earlier return to pre-stroke diet) resulted from a programme of MDTP alone vs NMES or UC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-510
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Oral Rehabilitation
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • NMES randomised controlled trial
  • exercise
  • stroke
  • swallowing dysfunction
  • swallowing therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry

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