Neuromuscular electrical stimulation versus traditional therapy in patients with Parkinson’s disease and oropharyngeal dysphagia: effects on quality of life.
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Objective: This study compares the effects of traditional logopedic dysphagia treatment versus NMES on quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease and oropharyngeal dysphagia. Material and method: 89 patients were randomized over three treatment groups: traditional logopedic dysphagia treatment or logopedic treatment combined with NMES at sensory or motor stimulation levels. Patients received 12 up to 15 sessions during three to five weeks. Three times (pre- and post treatment, plus three months following treatment), two quality of life questionnaires (Swal-QOL, MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory) and a single item dysphagia severity scale were scored. The Functional Oral Intake Scale (FOIS) was applied to assess the dietary intake. Results: After therapy all groups showed significant improvement on quality of life. Minimal group differences were found. These effects can still be measured three months following treatment. No significant correlation was found between the dietary intake and quality of life. Conclusion: Logopedic dysphagia treatment results in an increased quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Logopedic treatment combined with NMES shows similar results compared to solely logopedic treatment.