Efficacy of a novel swallowing exercise program for chronic dysphagia in long-term head and neck cancer survivors

Sophie A. C. Kraaijenga, Lisette van der Molen, Martijn M. Stuiver, Robert P. Takes, Abrahim Al-Mamgani, Michiel W. M. van den Brekel*, Frans J. M. Hilgers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Background: The efficacy of rehabilitative exercises for chronic dysphagia treatment in head and neck cancer survivors has not been studied extensively and is ambiguous.

Methods: A prospective clinical phase II study using an intensive strength training program was carried out in 17 head and neck cancer survivors with chronic dysphagia. Both swallow and nonswallow exercises were performed for 6-8 weeks with a newly developed tool allowing for progressive muscle overload, including chin tuck, jaw opening, and effortful swallow exercises. Outcome parameters were feasibility, compliance, and parameters for effect.

Results: Feasibility in terms of the program completion rate was 88%. Compliance with the exercises was 97%. After the training period, chin tuck, jaw opening, and anterior tongue strength had substantially improved. All but 1 patient reported to benefit from the exercises.

Conclusion: Feasibility and compliance were high. Some objective and subjective effects of progressive load on muscle strength and swallowing function could be demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1943-1961
Number of pages19
JournalHead and Neck-Journal for the Sciences and Specialties of the Head and Neck
Volume39
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

Keywords

  • chin tuck
  • dysphagia
  • head and neck cancer
  • jaw opening
  • radiotherapy
  • rehabilitation
  • strength training
  • UPPER ESOPHAGEAL SPHINCTER
  • RANDOMIZED CLINICAL-TRIAL
  • LOCALLY ADVANCED HEAD
  • SURFACE ELECTROMYOGRAPHY
  • NEURAL PLASTICITY
  • LINGUAL EXERCISE
  • RESISTANCE CTAR
  • MUSCLE-ACTIVITY
  • OLDER-ADULTS
  • CHIN TUCK

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