The Value of Adding Transcutaneous Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (Vitalstim) to Traditional Therapy for Post-Stroke Dysphagia: A Randomized Controlled Study
Objective: To investigate the effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (VitalStim) and traditional swallowing therapy on recovery of swallowing difficulties after stroke. Design: This was a randomized, controlled, double-blinded, 4-week trial. Setting: University hospital. Participants: All patients were randomly divided into three groups: traditional swallowing therapy (n=45), VitalStim therapy (n=45), and VitalStim therapy plus traditional swallowing therapy (n=45). Interventions: The traditional swallowing therapy included basic training and direct food intake training. Electrical stimulation was applied by an occupational therapist, using a modified hand-held battery-powered electrical stimulator (VitalStim® Dual Channel Unit and electrodes, Chattanooga Group, Hixson, TN, USA). Main Outcome Measures: Surface electromyography (sEMG), the Standardized Swallowing Assessment (SSA), Videofluoroscopic Swallowing Study (VFSS) and visual analog scale (VAS) were used to assess swallowing function before and after the treatment. Results: There were significant differences in sEMG value, SSA and VFSS scores in each group after the treatment (P<.001). After 4-week treatment, sEMG value (917.1±91.2), SSA value (21.8 ± 3.5), Oral transit time (0.4 ± 0.1) and Pharyngeal transit time (0.8±0.1) were significantly improved in the VitalStim therapy plus traditional swallowing therapy group than the other two groups (P<.001). Conclusions: Data suggest that VitalStim therapy coupled with traditional swallowing therapy is beneficial for swallowing difficulties after stroke.
Medical Subject Headings
Revista Ecuatoriana de Neurologia
Li, Lejun; Yin, Junxiang; Shen, Yongtao; Qiao, Benyu; Li, Yumei; and Shi, Jiong, "The Value of Adding Transcutaneous Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (Vitalstim) to Traditional Therapy for Post-Stroke Dysphagia: A Randomized Controlled Study" (2012). Neurology. 194.