Document Type: Original
Department of Speech and Language Pathology, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Rehabilitation Research Center, Department of Speech and Language Pathology, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Biostatics, School of Management and Information, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Physiotherapy, School of Rehabilitation, Tehran University of Medical Sciences.
Swallowing disorder or dysphagia is a common complication after conventional total thyroidectomy. Traditional dysphagia therapy (TDT) has long been a routine rehabilitation program for patients with dysphagia; however, there is no evidence to support the efficacy of this approach in patients with post-thyroidectomy dysphagia. Regarding this, the purpose of the current study was to explore the effectiveness of TDT in swallowing dysfunction in patients suffering from post-thyroidectomy dysphagia.
Materials and Methods:
This pilot clinical trial was conducted on 21 patients with post-thyroidectomy dysphagia. The study population was randomly assigned into two groups of TDT and control. The patients in the TDT group received 18 treatment sessions for 6 weeks, 3 times a week. The Swallowing Impairment Score (SIS-6), Functional Oral Intake Scale (FOIS), and Persian Dysphagia Handicap Index (P-DHI) were the outcome measures. The outcome variables were assessed at the baseline, at the end of the treatment, and after a 6-week follow-up. The main effects of time and group and their interaction effect on SIS-6 and P-DHI scores were examined using repeated measures ANOVA. In addition, the intergroup comparison in terms of the FOIS score was analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test. The Cohen's d effect size was also measured to ascertain the effects of the treatment.
According to the results, the TDT group showed a significant improvement in the SIS-6, FOIS and P-DHI scores over time (P<0.001). The results also revealed that the interaction effect of time and group was significant on SIS-6 and P-DHI scores (P<0.001). In addition, effect sizes on SIS-6, FOIS, and P-DHI scores were large in the TDT group.
This study suggested that TDT could improve the swallowing dysfunction in the patients suffering from post-thyroidectomy dysphagia. As the results indicated, the improvements persisted 6 weeks after the end of TDT.