Bicego A, Lejoly K, Maudoux A, Lefebvre P, Laureys S, Schweizer V, Diserens K, Faymonville ME, Vanhaudenhuyse A.
Rev Neurol (Paris). 2014 Jun 18.
Interest in studying swallowing disorders in patients with altered consciousness has increased over the past decade. Swallowing deficit is frequently encountered in severe brain-injured patients.
STATE OF ART:
Results of studies have highlighted different factors such as the delay between the injury and the treatment and the level of consciousness of these patients, as well as the presence or not of tracheotomy, which will determine the feasibility of resuming oral feeding. Nowadays, very few valid and sensitive scales can be used to assess swallowing deficit in patients with disorders of consciousness. The Facial Oral Tract Therapy (FOTT) scale is an inter-professional multidisciplinary approach offering a structured way to evaluate and treat patients with swallowing disorders. In contrast with other scales, patients do not have to follow verbal instructions for the FOTT.
This paper presents a review of existing literature on the assessment and management of swallowing disorders in patients with altered state of consciousness, and a description of the FOTT method.
The FOTT seems to be an interesting assessment and rehabilitation tool for patients with disorders of consciousness. However, clinical studies are needed to confirm the validity and sensitivity of this technique.