Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation on the Submental Area: The Relations of Biopsychological Factors with Maximum Amplitude Tolerance and Perceived Discomfort Level

Ali Barikroo, Karen Hegland, Giselle Carnaby, Donald Bolser, Todd Manini, Michael Crary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TES) is a frequently used adjunctive modality in dysphagia rehabilitation. Stimulating deeper swallowing muscles requires higher TES amplitude. However, TES amplitude is limited by maximum amplitude tolerance (MAT). Previous studies have reported high interindividual variability regarding MAT and perceived discomfort. This variability might be one of the potential reasons of conflicting outcomes in TES-based swallowing studies. MAT and perceived discomfort are influenced by a variety of biopsychological factors. The influence of these factors related to swallow applications is poorly understood. This study explored the relation of biopsychological factors with MAT and perceived discomfort related to TES in the submental area. A convenience sample of thirty community-dwelling older adults between 60 and 70 years of age provided data for this study. Gender, submental adipose tissue thickness, perceptual pain sensitivity, and pain-coping strategies were evaluated for each subject. Subsequently, MAT and perceived discomfort level were determined using TES on the submental area. Relation of different biopsychological variables with MAT and discomfort level was examined using Pearson and Spearman correlation, and Mann–Whitney U test. Results indicated that neither gender nor adipose thickness was related to MAT and perceived discomfort. Among studied pain-coping strategies, catastrophizing was significantly related to MAT(r = – 0.552, p <.002). Distraction was significantly related to perceived discomfort level (r = − 0.561, p < 0.002). Given the negative impact of pain catastrophizing on MAT and the positive impact of distraction on perceiving discomfort, these coping strategies should be considered as amplitude-limiting and discomfort-moderating factors in TES-based dysphagia rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-307
Number of pages7
JournalDysphagia
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Biopsychological factors
  • Deglutition
  • Deglutition disorders
  • Discomfort
  • Maximum amplitude tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Speech and Hearing

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