Patient Resistance to Swallowing Exercises After Multimodality Therapy

Giselle Carnaby, PhD, professor, ASHA fellow, Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Central Florida, discusses rehabilitation of swallowing after multimodality therapy in patients with head and neck cancer, and why they may be resistant to it.

Giselle Carnaby, PhD, professor, ASHA fellow, Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Central Florida, discusses rehabilitation of swallowing after multimodality therapy in patients with head and neck cancer, and why they may be resistant to complete the exercises.

Following chemoradiation for head and neck cancer, patients are strongly encouraged to undergo pharyngocise, an exercise aimed to prevent dysphagia, Carnaby explains. However, 30-55% of patients are likely to not complete these exercises.

A recent study examined causes of patients not completing their self-help exercises, specially those aimed at swallowing, Carnaby says. Results showed that fear and fatigue were the main reasons; therefore, researchers are evaluating possible solutions to assist patients.

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