Conclusion: Training with either a palatal plate (PP) or an oral IQoro(R) screen (IQS) in patients with longstanding facial dysfunction and dysphagia after stroke can significantly improve facial activity (FA) in all four facial quadrants as well as swallowing capacity (SC). Improvements remained at late follow-up. The training modalities did not significantly differ in ameliorating facial dysfunction and dysphagia in these patients. However, IQS training has practical and economic advantages over PP training.
Objectives: This study compared PP and oral IQS training in terms of (i) effect on four-quadrant facial dysfunction and dysphagia after a first-ever stroke, and (ii) whether the training effect persisted at late follow-up.
Methods: Patients were included during two periods; 13 patients in 2005-2008 trained with a PP, while 18 patients in 2009-2012 trained with an IQS. Four-quadrant facial dysfunction was assessed with an FA test and swallowing dysfunction with a SC test: before and after a 3-month training period and at late follow-up. FA and SC significantly improved (p < 0.001) in both groups. FA test scores after training and at late follow-up did not differ significantly between the groups, irrespective of whether the interval between stroke incidence and the start of training was long or short.
Keywords: Facial paralysis; dysphagia; facial activity test; facial dysfunction; oral screen; palatal plate; stroke; training.