Novel esophageal speech therapy method in total laryngectomized patients: biofeedback by intraesophageal impedance


DISEASES OF THE ESOPHAGUS, vol.29, no.1, pp.41-47, 2016 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/dote.12297
  • Title of Journal : DISEASES OF THE ESOPHAGUS
  • Page Numbers: pp.41-47


The loss of the best communication port after total laryngectomy surgery makes speech rehabilitation an important goal. Our aim was to improve the quality of esophageal speech (ES) using online esophageal multichannel intra-luminal impedance (MII) as a new biofeedback method. Twenty-six total laryngectomized patients were included. Before ES therapy, an esophageal motility test was carried out. MII catheters were placed in all subjects who were then randomized into two groups. Group 1 included 13 cases, who were retrained according to the classical method. Group 2 included 13 cases, who were retrained according to the simplified animation of air movements within the esophagus and upper stomach resulting from the modifications of intra-esophageal air kinetics gained by MII. The level of speech proficiency was evaluated relative to pretraining levels using perceptual scales in the third and sixth months. Acoustic voice was analyzed. The number of syllables read per minute and the intelligibility of monosyllabic and dissyllabic words were calculated. In this study, MII was used for the first time in alaryngeal speech rehabilitation as a biofeedback method; an overall sufficient speech level was achieved by 68.4% at the end of therapy, whereas attendance was 90%. A statistically significant improvement was found in both groups in terms of ES level compared with the pretraining period although there was no significant difference between groups. Although we did not observe the expected difference between groups suggested by our hypothesis, MII may be used as an objective tool to show patients how to swallow and regurgitate air during training, and may thus expedite ES theraphy both for the speech therapist and the patient in the future.