The Effectiveness of Tongue Palatal Resistance Exercise for Increasing Suprahyoid Muscle Strength in Patients with Oropharyngeal Dysphagia: A Home Exercise Program During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Keywords:oropharyngeal dysphagia, tongue, resistance exercise, COVID-19 pandemic, rehabilitation
Objectives: This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of a tongue palatal resistance exercise (TPRE) home exercise program for patients with oropharyngeal dysphagia.
Study design: One-group pre- and post-test.
Setting: Cipto Mangukusumo Hospital, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Subjects: Five patients with the following inclusion criteria: (i) oropharyngeal dysphagia, (ii) able to follow instructions, (iii) blood pressure < 160/110 mmHg, and (iv) never participated in a home oromotor exercise program.
Methods: The patients were trained to perform TPRE and were instructed to do 30 repetitions of the exercise per session, 3 to 5 sessions a week, for 2 weeks. Suprahyoid muscle strength was assessed using a surface electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback instrument before and then weekly after starting the home exercise program.
Results: The EMG activity of the suprahyoid muscle increased in all patients with a mean of 8.56 (SD 3.456) µV at baseline, 15.26 (SD 3.19) µV after the 1st week, and 17.44 (SD 3.922) µV after the 2nd week of TPRE.
Conclusions: A 2-week home program of tongue palatal resistance exercise can increase EMG activity, an indirect indication of increased suprahyoid muscle strength in individuals with oropharyngeal dysphagia. This home exercise program seems particularly appropriate during the current COVID-19 pandemic while hospital-based dysphagia rehabilitation services are limited.
Keywords: oropharyngeal dysphagia, tongue, resistance exercise, COVID-19 pandemic, rehabilitation
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