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  • Functional outcomes of pharyngeal stimulation in patients with dysphagia after surgical treatment for head and neck cancer
  • Harris, Jennifer
  • en
  • electrical stimulation
    pharyngeal stimulation
    functional outcomes
    head and neck cancer
    posterior pharyngeal wall resection
    base of tongue resection
  • May 5, 2010 4:06 PM
  • Thesis
  • en
  • Adobe PDF
  • 877763 bytes
  • Head and neck cancer patients often experience swallowing disorders placing them at risk for aspiration and malnutrition. This study examined the effects of electrical stimulation to the pharyngeal wall on swallowing function in post-surgical head and neck cancer patients. Swallowing of liquid, pudding, and cookie consistencies was examined using videofluoroscopy before, and 30 minutes after, a ten minute application of electrical stimulation the pharyngeal wall in 5 male patients experiencing moderate-severe dysphagia. A total of ten measures of swallowing function were obtained from pre- and post-videofluoroscopy studies. Changes were observed post-stimulation in duration of posterior pharyngeal wall to base of tongue contact, total number of swallows, cricopharyngeal opening durations, and pharyngeal transit time. Preliminary findings indicate that electrical stimulation of the pharynx may impact certain features of swallowing in head and neck cancer patients who experience dysphagia. However, further studies are required to confirm the present findings, explore the mechanisms responsible for these changes, and investigate the effect on swallowing function as a result of manipulating stimulus frequencies, intensities and durations.
  • Master's
  • Master of Science
  • Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology
  • Fall 2010
  • Boliek, Carol (Speech Pathology and Audiology)
    Rieger, Jana (Speech Pathology and Audiology)
  • Paslawski, Teresa (Speech Pathology and Audiology)
    Sadowski, Daniel (Medicine)
    Norton, Jonathan (Surgery)


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