Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic, Ankara Diskapi Yildirim Beyazit Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey

2 Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Clinic, Ankara Diskapi Yildirim Beyazit Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey

Abstract

Background: Swallowing and swallowing-related quality of life studies following stroke were almost always performed by including both patients with brainstem and cortical involvement. It was aimed in this study to show the presence of dysphagia in patients with only cortical ischemic stroke and to investigate the interaction between dysphagia and quality of life as well as to evaluate the effect of a rehabilitation program in the acute phase.Methods: Seventy-two patients with cortical stroke (between 0 and 30 days) and dysphagia were included. Swallowing function of patients was assessed by dysphagia screen questionnaire and fiberoptic endoscopic assessment. Also, functional impairment and swallowing quality of life were assessed. The swallowing rehabilitation program for 4 weeks was given to all patients.Results: All patients demonstrated disorders related to oral phase (n = 69, 95.8%), pharyngeal phase (n = 4, 5.6%) or both phases. The swallowing function, swallowing quality of life and functional impairment were improved at the end of therapy.Conclusion: Swallowing quality of life is severely affected in cortical hemispheric stroke patients and can be improved with an early rehabilitation program.