Authors: Hagg M, Larsson B
Title: Effects of Motor and Sensory Stimulation in Stroke Patients with Long-Lasting Dysphagia
Source: Dysphagia 2004 19(4): 219-230
Year: 2004
Research Design: Case Series

Dysphagia is a common poststroke symptom with negative effects on recovery and rehabilitation. However, the orofacial regulation therapy, developed by Castillo Morales, comprising body regulation and orofacial regulation in combination with a palatal plate application has shown promising results in stroke patients. This therapy is based not only on muscle exercises but also on an improvement of the entire sensory-motor reflex arc involved in normal deglutition, and on the knowledge that the function of face and oropharynx at deglutition is closely interrelated with the entire body posture as well as with appropriate breathing. The treatment concept is relatively unknown to caregivers, partly due to lack of scientific evaluation of treatment results. The present investigation aimed to assess the effect of motor and sensory stimulation in stroke patients with dysphagia persisting for more than six months. Seven patients were evaluated with respect to orofacial and pharyngeal motility and sensory function before and two weeks after a five-week treatment period. The evaluation comprised a swallowing capacity test, a meal observation test, clinical examination of oral motor and sensory function, a velopharyngeal closure test, and videofluoroscopy. In addition, the symptoms were scored by the patients. An overall single-blind estimation showed objective and self-assessed swallowing improvement in all seven patients. Kappa coefficients are calculated on all reliability data, both inter- and intrarater reliabilities. Sensory and motor stimulation seems to be a promising therapy in stroke patients with long-lasting and persistent oropharyngeal dysphagia.

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