Authors: Forbes J, Humbert I
Title: Impact of the Chin-Down Posture on Temporal Measures of Patients With Dysphagia: A Pilot Study
Source: American Journal of Speech Language Pathology 2021 30(3): 1049-1060
Year: 2021
Research Design: Case Series

Purpose: The chin-down position is a commonly prescribed posture by health care professionals to alleviate the symptoms of dysphagia. Yet, how the technique influences swallowing physiology lacks clarity. Our goal was to examine the impact of the postural technique on patients with various medical conditions and swallowing impairments. Method: Temporal and functional measures were examined with videofluoroscopy in the chin-down and neutral head position on 15 patients. Also, timing differences between head positions were examined to determine the presence of improvement during the chin-down posture. Results: The primary finding was chin-down posture swallows prolonged the elapsed time between when the prematurely spilled bolus entered the pharynx relative to swallow onset compared to the neutral head position (p = .006). Also, no improvement in airway protection was found when performing the postural technique. Conclusions: The chin-down posture may benefit patients with specific swallowing impairments. However, the general use of the technique for all patients who experience swallowing difficulty might be negligent and could potentially have adverse or no effect on patient outcomes. Future studies examining patients with the same pathophysiology are needed to understand the benefit of the chin-down posture based on swallowing impairment.

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