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Oral and pharyngeal motor exercises in post-stroke recovery




Part of routine intervention in stroke recovery in speech-language pathology is oral and pharyngeal motor exercises. A Canadian scoping review published this year (Marzouqah R, et al. Clin Rehabil. 2022 Nov 25:2692155221141395. doi: 10.1177/02692155221141395) has analyzed the intervention goals, protocols, and outcome measures currently or recently used for these.


Published studies from a search of all relevant databases gathered data on post-stroke adult patients who were administered exercises for oral and/or pharyngeal muscles, where data was reported at baseline and post-exercise. The extracted data included intervention goals, protocols, and outcomes, all categorized according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).


Twenty-six studies were included, across intervention goals aiming to rehabilitate a broad spectrum of muscle groups within the oral cavity and pharynx and to improve the functions of swallowing, speech, facial expressions, or sleep breathing. Protocol duration ranged from 1 to 13 weeks, with varying regimens. Half of the studies reported using feedback to support the training, and these studies varied in their feedback strategy and technology tools. Thirty-seven outcome measures were identified. Most represented function and structure components of the ICF, and several of these showed large treatment effects.


There was demonstrated inconsistency across published studies in intervention goals and exercise protocols. Recommendations for outcome measures were recommended, emphasizing a multidisciplinary view of oral and pharyngeal exercises in post-stroke recovery across relevant functions.



MyoNews from BreatheWorksTM is a report on trends and developments in oromyofunctional disorder and therapy. These updates are not intended as diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease or syndrome.


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