The research aims of this review were to (a) map swallowing rehabilitation approaches to specific swallowing impairments using the Modified Barium Swallow Impairment Profile (MBSImP) to develop evidence maps, (b) match desired rehabilitation treatment targets to treatment approaches, and (c) identify gaps in the literature and highlight which rehabilitation approaches require further investigation to support accurate mapping of interventions to physiologic change.
A mapping review was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses–Scoping Review extension framework. The databases searched were CINAHL, Ovid Medline, and Ovid Embase. Data extracted included swallowing rehabilitation approach details via the Rehabilitation Treatment Specification System framework, study characteristics, and resulting change in swallowing physiology. The resulting change in swallowing physiology was mapped onto MBSImP components, where applicable, and effect sizes were reported where data were available. Extracted data were summarized in the form of evidence maps.
Forty-three unique articles met the inclusion criteria for this review and were divided into single-approach and multi-approach exercise studies. Within single-approach studies, 13 different exercise approaches were investigated, and 117 outcome measures could be mapped to MBSImP components. Within multi-approach studies, 13 different combinations of exercise approaches were investigated and 60 outcome measures could be mapped to MBSImP components.
This review supports speech-language pathologists in incorporating current best evidence into their practice, as it found there is potential for improvement in many MBSImP components by using rehabilitative exercises. In the future, more intervention studies are needed to ensure that recommended rehabilitation approaches are beneficial for improving the targeted swallowing physiology.