Neuromuscular electrical stimulation in the rehabilitation of oropharyngeal dysphagia

Guimarães, Bruno Tavares de Lima; Furkim, Ana Maria; Silva, Roberta Gonçalves da
Rev. soc. bras. fonoaudiol. 15(4): 615-621, ND. 2010 Dec.


The rehabilitation of oropharyngeal dysphagia has a new therapeutic tool, the neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), and the most renowned researchers have been studying the applicability and the results of this approach. The aim of this study was to present a literature review regarding the applicability of NMES in the rehabilitation of oropharyngeal dysphagia. An extensive literature review was carried out, considering the last two decades of research in the area. The review showed that there is still no consensus on the use of NMES in the rehabilitation of dysphagia. It was found that most studies described the use of NMES in isolation, did not describe the techniques associated with speech-language therapy associated to electrotherapy, and used heterogeneous samples that clustered mechanical and neurogenic oropharyngeal dysphagia. Only recently specific programs have been designed and tested in more homogeneous populations.

Keywords: Dysphagia/rehabilitation; Deglutition disorders; Electric stimulation therapy/methods;


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