The Effectiveness of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation on Swallowing Function in Stroke Patients with Dysphagia: A Systematic Review
Dysphagia, a prevalent complication among stroke patients, can increase the risk of aspiration pneumonia and potentially result in fatalities. The therapeutic application of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), which utilizes electrical stimulation to promote muscle strength and sensorimotor recovery, has shown promise in enhancing swallowing function. This study aimed to examine the efficacy of NMES therapy in improving swallowing function in stroke patients with dysphagia, thereby contributing to the existing body of evidence. A systematic review methodology was employed, utilizing online databases such as PubMed, ProQuest, Sciencedirect, and Wiley Online Library on articles with full-text criteria, using Indonesian or English, publications in the last 5 years, and a quasi-experimental research design and randomized controlled trials. Search articles using keywords "stroke", "cerebrovascular accident", "dysphagia", "neuromuscular electrical stimulation", "swallowing function", and "deglutitions function" combined using the boolean operator AND or OR. The search results found 10 articles that match the inclusion criteria. From 10 articles, there was 1 quasi-experimental article and 9 randomized controlled trial articles. The findings indicated that neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) can be considered as a potential intervention for enhancing swallowing function in individuals who have experienced a stroke. According to the reviews, NMES has shown effectiveness in improving the ability to swallow in stroke patients with dysphagia. However, further high-quality evidence is required to establish the appropriate procedures and identify other treatments that can be combined with NMES therapy.