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05.03.2020 | Review | Ausgabe 1/2021

Dysphagia 1/2021

Dose in Exercise-Based Dysphagia Therapies: A Scoping Review

Dysphagia > Ausgabe 1/2021
Brittany N. Krekeler, Linda M. Rowe, Nadine P. Connor
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Optimal exercise doses for exercise-based approaches to dysphagia treatment are unclear. To address this gap in knowledge, we performed a scoping review to provide a record of doses reported in the literature. A larger goal of this work was to promote detailed consideration of dosing parameters in dysphagia exercise treatments in intervention planning and outcome reporting.


We searched PubMed, Scopus[Embase], CINAHL, and Cochrane databases from inception to July 2019, with search terms relating to dysphagia and exercises to treat swallowing impairments. Of the eligible 1906 peer-reviewed articles, 72 met inclusionary criteria by reporting, at minimum, both the frequency and duration of their exercise-based treatments.


Study interventions included tongue exercise (n = 16), Shaker/head lift (n = 13), respiratory muscle strength training (n = 6), combination exercise programs (n = 20), mandibular movement exercises (n = 7), lip muscle training (n = 5), and other programs that did not fit into the categories described above (n = 5). Frequency recommendations varied greatly by exercise type. Duration recommendations ranged from 4 weeks to 1 year. In articles reporting repetitions (n = 66), the range was 1 to 120 reps/day. In articles reporting intensity (n = 59), descriptions included values for force, movement duration, or descriptive verbal cues, such as “as hard as possible.” Outcome measures were highly varied across and within specific exercise types.


We recommend inclusion of at least the frequency, duration, repetition, and intensity components of exercise dose to improve reproducibility, interpretation, and comparison across studies. Further research is required to determine optimal dose ranges for the wide variety of exercise-based dysphagia interventions.

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