Authors: Winiker K, Kertscher B
Title: Behavioural Interventions for Swallowing in Subjects with Parkinson’s Disease: A Mixed Methods Systematic Review
Source: International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders 2023 58(4): 1375-1404
Year: 2023
Research Design: Systematic Review

Background: Dysphagia is prevalent in subjects with Parkinson's disease (PD). Swallowing intervention to improve or maintain swallowing function is of major importance as dysphagia may considerably impact physical and psycho-social health. Aims: A mixed methods systematic review was conducted to summarize and appraise literature reporting (1) effects of behavioural interventions for swallowing in individuals with PD; and (2) participants' perspectives of swallowing interventions. Methods & Procedures: Electronic databases were searched systematically in July 2020 for articles published between 2014 and 2020. In addition, studies published between 2000 and 2014 were identified non-systematically through previous reviews. Peer-reviewed quantitative and qualitative research in English or German documenting behavioural interventions for swallowing in individuals with a diagnosis of PD was eligible for inclusion. Participants at all disease stages were included. Behavioural interventions included rehabilitative and compensatory strategies. Studies reporting swallowing outcomes with and without a comparative group were included. For each study, the National Health and Medical Research Council level of evidence was defined. Included studies were critically appraised using the Standard Quality Assessment Criteria for Evaluating Primary Research Papers from a Variety of Fields. An integrated synthesis was performed after separate analysis of effect data and data reflecting participants' experiences. This review was conducted based on published JBI methodology and the guideline from the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis system was followed. Main Contribution: A total of 33 studies published in English met the inclusion criteria. Thirty-one studies reported quantitative data, one was qualitative and one was mixed methods. Intervention effects on swallowing function, swallowing safety and swallowing-related quality of life were reported for various treatment approaches. Three studies explored how participants perceived the intervention. Overriding themes including subjects' views regarding treatment schedules and levels of effort or comfort associated with the intervention were identified across these studies. Combining evidence of intervention effects and subjects' experiences was possible for one rehabilitative and one compensatory intervention. Conclusions & Implications: Beneficial effects of swallowing interventions have been reported; however, most experiments were case studies of variable methodological quality. Randomized-controlled trials with robust methodology to explore treatment effects in larger samples is needed to guide clinical practice. Research reporting subjects' views is scarce. More studies exploring how individuals perceive behavioural interventions for swallowing are necessary to inform clinical decision-making.

Access: Open Access