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Effects of nape acupuncture combined with swallowing rehabilitation on dysphagia in pseudobulbar palsy

Author: Liu XP, Chen FY, Chu JM, Bao YH
Page: 117

Brief:
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the therapeutic effects of nape acupuncture combined with rehabilitative swallowing training for dysphagia caused by pseudobulbar palsy, and to compare it with rehabilitative swallowing training alone, and to observe the improvement in quality of life after the therapy. METHODS: One hundred patients were randomly divided into two groups: the rehabilitative swallowing training group (control group, n = 50) and the nape acupuncture combined with rehabilitative swallowing training group (experimental group, n = 50). Each group had 8 weeks' therapy, 5 times a week. Patients in the control group received rehabilitative swallowing training, while those in the experimental group received nape acupuncture therapy based on swallowing rehabilitation. The outcomes were assessed by the repetitive saliva-swallowing test (RSST), water swallow test (WST), standardized swallowing assessment (SSA), and a swallow quality-of-life questionnaire (SWAL-QOL). Correlations of onset age, onset frequency and lesion location with the efficacy of the acupuncture treatment were also observed. RESULTS: The scores for RSST, WST, and SSA in both groups were lower than before the therapy (P <  0.001), although the changes were more marked in the experimental group than in the control group (RSST and WST, P < 0.005; SSA, P < 0.001). Both groups recorded changes in SWAL-QOL index after the therapy (P < 0.001); and the experimental group scored higher than the control group (P < 0.001). The efficacy of acupuncture was not correlated with location (P > 0.05), but was related to onset age (P < 0.05) and onset frequency (P < 0.01). CONCLUSION: Nape acupuncture combined with rehabilitative swallowing training has an effect on dysphagia caused by pseudobulbar palsy and improves quality of life.

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