COPD & EMST – Evidence Based Research Results
The Centers for Disease Control reported that at least 15 million Americans have chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), a leading cause of respiratory illness. COPD negatively impacts lung function, which commonly leads to dysphagia and dyspnea. Dysphagia occurs in COPD because of the incoordination of breathing and swallowing caused by weakened respiratory function. This weakening may lead to exacerbations, increased risk of aspirations, pneumonia, and hospitalizations.
A moderate effect size revealed that patients with COPD have impaired swallow function compared to the healthy controls. A moderate effect size revealed that patients with COPD using EMST with a device had greater improvement in lung function compared to patients with COPD in a control group. An effect size of 1.39 revealed that the participants using an EMST device showed greater improvement in swallow function compared to a control group.
The results support EMST as a dysphagia treatment for patients with COPD. Higher levels of evidence-based research within this area is needed.
- Katrina Ginsburg