To study the effects of VitalStim therapy coupled with conventional swallowing training on recovery of neurogenic dysphagia, a total of 30 dysphagia patients were randomly selected among subacute post-traumatic brain injury and cerebrovascular accident cases. The cases were evenly divided into two groups: neuromuscular electric stimulation (NMSE) group, and NMSE plus conventional swallowing therapy group. Before and after the treatment, swallowing function was evaluated by using fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) test and swallowing ability function evaluation (SAFE). Outcomes were analyzed for changes in oral and pharyngeal phase dysphagia severity, diet consistency and improvement from non-oral to oral intake. There were significant differences in the SAFE score in each group before and after treatment. After 8-week treatment, the SAFE score was significantly greater in the NMSE therapy plus conventional swallowing training group than in the NMSE therapy group. It was concluded that VitalStim therapy coupled with conventional swallowing training was conducive to recovery of post-stroke dysphagia.


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