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Surface Electromyographic Biofeedback and the Effortful Swallow Exercise for Stroke-Related Dysphagia and in Healthy Ageing

Archer, SK; Smith, CH; Newham, DJ; (2020) Surface Electromyographic Biofeedback and the Effortful Swallow Exercise for Stroke-Related Dysphagia and in Healthy Ageing. Dysphagia 10.1007/s00455-020-10129-8. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Dysphagia is common after stroke, leading to adverse outcome. The Effortful Swallow (ES) is recommended to improve swallowing but it is not known if dysphagic patients can increase muscle activity during the exercise or if age affects performance. Providing surface electromyographic (sEMG) biofeedback during dysphagia therapy may enhance exercise completion, but this has not been investigated and the technique’s acceptability to patients is not known. Aims: To determine if age or post-stroke dysphagia affect the ability to increase submental muscle activity during the ES, if sEMG biofeedback improves ES performance and if sEMG is an acceptable addition to therapy. In a Phase I study submental sEMG amplitudes were measured from 15 people with dysphagia < 3 months post-stroke and 85 healthy participants aged 18–89 years during swallowing (NS) and when they performed the ES with and without sEMG biofeedback. Participant feedback was collected via questionnaire. Measurements were compared with repeated measures ANOVA and age effects were examined with linear regression. Both groups produced significantly greater muscle activity for the ES than NS (p < 0.001) and significantly increased activity with biofeedback (p < 0.001) with no effect of age. Participant feedback about sEMG was very positive; over 98% would be happy to use it regularly. The ES is a physiologically beneficial dysphagia exercise, increasing muscle activity during swallowing. sEMG biofeedback further enhances performance and is considered an acceptable technique by patients. These findings support the potential application of sEMG biofeedback and the ES in dysphagia therapy in stroke, justifying further investigation of patient outcome.

Type: Article
Title: Surface Electromyographic Biofeedback and the Effortful Swallow Exercise for Stroke-Related Dysphagia and in Healthy Ageing
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s00455-020-10129-8
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00455-020-10129-8
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10108183
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