The Impact of Dysphagia Therapy on Quality of Life in Patients with Parkinson's Disease as Measured by the Swallowing Quality of Life Questionnaire (SWALQOL)
16 November 2015
16 February 2016
19 April 2016 (eFirst)
Introduction Dysphagia is a common symptom in Parkinson's disease (PD) and it has been associated with poor quality of life (QoL), anxiety, depression.
Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality of life in individuals with PD before and after SLP therapy.
Methods The program consisted of four individual therapy sessions. Each session comprised guidelines regarding food and postural maneuvers (chin down). The Quality of Life in Swallowing Disorders (SWAL-QOL) questionnaire was applied before and after therapy.
Results The sample comprised of 10 individuals (8 men), with a mean (SD) age of 62.2 (11.3) years, mean educational attainment of 7.5 (4.3) years, and mean disease duration of 10.7 (4.7) years. Thirty percent of patients were Hoehn and Yahr (H&Y) stage 2, 50% were H&Y stage 3, and 20% were H&Y stage 4. Mean scores for all SWAL-QOL domains increased after the intervention period, with significant pre- to post-therapy differences in total score (p = 0.033) and domain 4 (symptom frequency) (p = 0.025). There was also a bias significance for domain 5 (food selection) (p = 0.095).
Conclusion Patients exhibited improvement in swallowing-related quality of life after a SLP therapy program. The earlier in the course of PD, greater the improvement observed after therapy.
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