Title

The Value of Adding Transcutaneous Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (Vitalstim) to Traditional Therapy for Post-Stroke Dysphagia: A Randomized Controlled Study

Department

neurology

Document Type

Article

Abstract

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

neurology

Publication Date

2012

Publication Title

Revista Ecuatoriana de Neurologia

ISSN

10198113

Volume

21

Issue

43468

First Page

37

Last Page

42

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