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Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2009 Nov;18(4):361-75. doi: 10.1044/1058-0360(2009/08-0088). Epub 2009 Sep 2.

Evidence-based systematic review: effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation on swallowing and neural activation.

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1
Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To systematically review the literature examining the effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) on swallowing and neural activation. The review was conducted as part of a series examining the effects of oral motor exercises (OMEs) on speech, swallowing, and neural activation.

METHOD:

A systematic search was conducted to identify relevant studies published in peer-reviewed journals from 1960 to 2007. All studies meeting the exclusion/inclusion criteria were appraised for quality and categorized as efficacy or exploratory research based on predetermined criteria.

RESULTS:

Out of 899 citations initially identified for the broad review of OMEs, 14 articles relating to NMES qualified for inclusion. Most of the studies (10/14) were considered exploratory research, and many had significant methodological limitations.

CONCLUSIONS:

This systematic review reveals that surface NMES to the neck has been most extensively studied with promising findings, yet high-quality controlled trials are needed to provide evidence of efficacy. Surface NMES to the palate, faucial pillars, and pharynx has been explored in Phase I research, but no evidence of efficacy is currently available. Intramuscular NMES has been investigated in a single Phase I exploratory study. Additional research is needed to document the effects of such protocols on swallowing performance.

Comment in

PMID:
19726568
DOI:
10.1044/1058-0360(2009/08-0088)
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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