Point/Counterpoint: Electrical Stimulation for Dysphagia: The Argument Against Electrical Stimulation for Dysphagia Surface electrical stimulation for dysphagia is still a controversial subject. Some studies tout the benefits of using electrical stimulation (e-stim) for improving a disordered swallow. It is important to ensure that the discussion about e-stim is balanced. In this article, I discuss selected counterpoints, including e-stim's intended use, the objective ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2011
Point/Counterpoint: Electrical Stimulation for Dysphagia: The Argument Against Electrical Stimulation for Dysphagia
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ianessa A. Humbert
    Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Point/Counterpoint
Article   |   December 01, 2011
Point/Counterpoint: Electrical Stimulation for Dysphagia: The Argument Against Electrical Stimulation for Dysphagia
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2011, Vol. 20, 102-108. doi:10.1044/sasd20.4.102
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2011, Vol. 20, 102-108. doi:10.1044/sasd20.4.102

Surface electrical stimulation for dysphagia is still a controversial subject. Some studies tout the benefits of using electrical stimulation (e-stim) for improving a disordered swallow. It is important to ensure that the discussion about e-stim is balanced. In this article, I discuss selected counterpoints, including e-stim's intended use, the objective findings of scientific findings, and whether speech-language pathology training in the area of swallowing anatomy and physiology adequately prepares clinicians to use e-stim for dysphagia. Overall, clinicians are urged to take into account all sides of this debate and make educated decisions about whether it should be a part of their clinical practice.

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