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Direct Effects Of Facio-Oral Tract Therapy® On Swallowing Frequency Of Non-tracheotomised Patients With Acute Neurogenic Dysphagia

Jürgen Konradi, Annekatrin Lerch, Marilena Cataldo, T. Kerz
Published 2015 · Medicine

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Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the direct effect of Facio-Oral Tract Therapy® on swallowing frequency of non-tracheotomised patients with acute neurogenic dysphagia. Methods: Within a pre-, post-/during and follow-up study design, 19 non-tracheotomised dysphagic patients were included consecutively and treated according to three specific preselected Facio-Oral Tract Therapy stimulation techniques. Results: The primary outcome was the direct effect of the three different Facio-Oral Tract Therapy stimulation techniques on the number of swallows. We found a significant effect of Facio-Oral Tract Therapy on swallowing frequency as compared to baseline with an increase by 65.63% and medium effect size of D = 0.62. No significant difference could be demonstrated when comparing baseline to follow-up. Conclusion: For the first time, this positive therapy effect could be demonstrated on a population of non-tracheotomised patients. Facio-Oral Tract Therapy seems to be an appropriate means for improving effectiveness and safety of swallowing. Since improvement was not long lasting, it appears to be reasonable to apply therapy frequently during the day with the plausible result of minimising the amount of aspirated saliva and thereby reducing the risk of aspiration pneumonia. Further studies may consider choosing a randomised controlled trial design to demonstrate that change in swallow frequency is related to the target intervention only.
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