Brain Neurorehabil.  2018 Sep;11(2):e19. 10.12786/bn.2018.11.e19.

Selection of Head Turn Side on Pharyngeal Dysphagia in Hemiplegic Stroke Patients: a Preliminary Study

  • 1Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Center for Prevention and Rehabilitation, Heart Vascular Stroke Institute, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Health Science and Technology, Department of Medical Device Management and Research, Samsung Advanced Institute of Health Science and Technology (SAIHST), Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea.


The objective of this preliminary study is to investigate the effects of various head turn in hemiplegic stroke patients with pharyngeal dysphagia. Twenty hemiplegic stroke patients with dysphagia participated in this study. A patient with dysphagia from an upper esophageal sphincter disorder was excluded. All participants underwent a videofluoroscopic swallow study (VFSS) with a 3 mL liquid diet, and their heads were randomly turned to a neutral position, toward the weaker side, toward the stronger side, or to a chin tuck posture. To assess patient swallowing function with VFSS, the videofluoroscopic dysphagia scale (VDS) and penetration-aspiration scale (PAS) were conducted by a physiatrist blinded to the participant's characteristics. No significant improvements in the VDS and PAS were observed in patients with heads rotated toward the weaker or stronger side when compared with heads in the neutral position. However, there was a significant improvement in the VDS for heads in the chin tuck position when compared with those in the neutral position (p < 0.05). These preliminary results revealed that the head turn practice without VFSS, as a compensatory strategy, could not improve dysphagia in hemiplegic stroke patients. Therefore, compensatory postures might be re-considered with in hemiplegic stroke patients with pharyngeal dysphagia.


Dysphagia; Deglutition; Postural Modification; Stroke; VFSS

MeSH Terms

Deglutition Disorders*
Esophageal Sphincter, Upper
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