BACKGROUND: There is little high-level evidence for the effect of the nonverbal facilitation of swallowing on swallowing ability in the subacute stage of rehabilitation following severe acquired brain injury (ABI). OBJECTIVE: To pilot test a randomised controlled trial to determine the effect of an intensification of the nonverbal facilitation of swallowing on dysphagia. METHODS: Ten patients with severe ABI and dysphagia were randomised into two groups at a highly specialised neurorehabilitation clinic. The intervention group received an intensification of the nonverbal facilitation of swallowing and the control group received basic care of the face and mouth in addition to treatment as usual for two sessions of 20 minutes per day for three weeks. Outcomes were Functional Oral Intake Scale (FOIS), Penetration Aspiration Scale (PAS), and electrophysiological swallowing specific parameters (EMBI). RESULTS: The intensified intervention was feasible. PAS and FOIS scores improved in both groups, with no differences between groups. The swallowing specific parameters reflected clinically observed changes in swallowing. CONCLUSIONS: PAS and FOIS are feasible instruments to measure dysphagia. It is possible and valid to measure swallowing frequency and kinematics using electromyography and bioimpedance. The definitive study should have widened inclusion criteria and optimise intervention timing to maintain patient arousal.
|Status||Udgivet - 2019|