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Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2013 Feb;19(2):207-11. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2012.10.004. Epub 2012 Nov 4.

Video-assisted swallowing therapy for patients with Parkinson's disease.

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Movement Disorders Unit, Dept of Neurology, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Affiliated to the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.



Conventional swallowing therapy for patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and swallowing difficulties has poor carryover to everyday life. Herein, we test the effectiveness of visual information while treating swallowing disturbances in patients with PD.


Forty two non-demented PD patients with swallowing disturbances were randomly divided into two groups. An experimental group received video-assisted swallowing therapy (VAST) and a control group (n = 21) was given conventional therapy. Both groups were given 6 interventional sessions by the same speech and swallowing therapist. Patients in the VAST group were exposed to video of the swallowing process in general as well as of their own, as part of all therapy sessions. Swallowing function was assessed before and post-intervention by fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES). Quality of life, quality of care and the degree of pleasure from eating were also assessed by questioners pre and post-intervention.


There was a significant improvement in swallowing functions following both interventions. The FEESs demonstrated a significantly greater reduction in food residues in the pharynx in the VAST group compared to the conventional treatment group. There were significant group improvement in some parameters of the quality of life, quality of care and pleasure of eating scales.


In cognitively intact patients with PD with swallowing disturbances VAST was associated with improved swallowing related QOL and less food residues in the pharynx.

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