Dysphagia; 27(3): 336-45, 2012 Sep
This study compares the effects of traditional logopedic dysphagia treatment with those of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) as adjunct to therapy on the quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease and oropharyngeal dysphagia. Eighty-eight patients were randomized over three treatment groups. Traditional logopedic dysphagia treatment and traditional logopedic dysphagia treatment combined with NMES at sensor or motor level stimulation were compared. At three times (pretreatment, post-treatment, and 3 months following treatment), two quality-of-life questionnaires (SWAL-QOL and MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory) and a single-item Dysphagia Severity Scale were scored. The Functional Oral Intake Scale was used to assess the dietary intake. After therapy, all groups showed significant improvement on the Dysphagia Severity Scale and restricted positive effects on quality of life. Minimal group differences were found. These effects remained unchanged 3 months following treatment. No significant correlations were found between dietary intake and quality of life. Logopedic dysphagia treatment results in a restricted increased quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease. In this randomized controlled trial, all groups showed significant therapy effects on the Dysphagia Severity Scale and restricted improvements on the SWAL-QOL and the MDADI. However, only slight nonsignificant differences between groups were found.