McNeill dysphagia therapy program: a case-control study

Giselle D. Carnaby-Mann, MPH, PhD, Michael A. Crary, PhD

Objective

To compare the effectiveness of the McNeill Dysphagia Therapy Program, a systematic exercise-based rehabilitation framework for swallowing remediation, with traditional swallowing therapy techniques paired with surface electromyography (sEMG) biofeedback.

Design

Matched case-control study.

Setting

University medical center.

Participants

Dysphagic patients referred to an outpatient swallowing therapy service.

Interventions

Cases were individually matched to 2 separate controls for age, sex, and primary medical diagnosis (N=24). Cases were patients with dysphagia who entered the McNeill Dysphagia Therapy Program from September 2006 to October 2008. Controls entered a traditional swallowing therapy program augmented with sEMG biofeedback (traditional therapy with biofeedback group) from February 1994 to June 1999.

Main Outcome Measures

The primary outcome was the proportion of patients who improved clinical swallowing ability and functional oral intake. The secondary outcomes were the presence (or not) of tube feeding, physiologic change on instrumental swallowing studies, and occurrence of aspiration on posttreatment assessment.

Results

Case patients were more likely to demonstrate dysphagia recovery at posttreatment re-evaluation (adjusted odds ratio for dysphagia recovery=13.0 [95% CI, 1.27–63.89]; Mantel-Haenszel χ2=6.7; P=.009; relative risk reduction=.69). Dysphagia was reduced by 69% in the McNeill Dysphagia Therapy Program treatment group compared with the traditional therapy with biofeedback group.

Conclusions

Both approaches facilitated improved swallowing function. The McNeill Dysphagia Therapy Program resulted in superior outcomes compared with traditional dysphagia therapy supplemented with sEMG biofeedback.

ACESSE O PERIÓDICO

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