Dysphagia and swallowing-related quality of life in Friedreich ataxia
AuthorVogel, Adam P.; Brown, Sophie E.; Folker, Joanne E.; Corben, Louise A.; Delatycki, Martin B.
Source TitleJournal of Neurology
AffiliationDepartment of Audiology and Speech Pathology
Audiology and Speech Pathology
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsVogel, A. P., Brown, S. E., Folker, J. E., Corben, L. A. & Delatycki, M. B. (2014). Dysphagia and swallowing-related quality of life in Friedreich ataxia. Journal of Neurology, 261(2), 392-399.
Access StatusThis item is currently not available from this repository
NHMRC Grant codeNHMRC/1012302
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013
The research outputs in this collection have been funded in whole or in part by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
Dysphagia in Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) and its impact on quality of life is not adequately understood. The objective of this study was to characterise dysphagia in FRDA and to determine the impact of swallowing dysfunction on activities, participation, and sense of well-being. Thirty-six individuals with a confirmed diagnosis of FRDA were assessed via a clinical bedside examination (CBE), the Royal Brisbane Hospital outcome measure for swallowing, an oral-motor examination and the Australian therapy outcome measures for speech and swallowing (AusTOMS). Data on swallowing function, diet modification and swallowing strategies were collated. Thirty-three (91.67 %) participants exhibited clinical signs of dysphagia according to the CBE, and all participants received ratings indicating swallowing difficulties on at least one other measure. Dysphagia in FRDA is characterised by oral and pharyngeal stage impairment relating to incoordination, weakness and spasticity. A significant positive correlation was found between the severity of impairment, activity, participation and distress/well-being on the AusTOMS, suggesting that swallowing function decreases with overall reductions in quality of life. A significant correlation was found between activity on the AusTOMS and disease duration (r = −0.283, p = 0.012). No significant correlations were found between dysphagia severity and GAA repeat length, age of onset or disease severity. Participants employing diet modification and swallowing strategies demonstrated higher dysphagia severity, activity limitations and participation restrictions. These data advocate a holistic approach to dysphagia management in FRDA. Early detection of swallowing impairment and consideration of the potential impact dysphagia has on quality of life should be key aspects in disease management.
Keywordsataxia; dysphagia; deglutition; swallowing
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