Quality of Life Related to Swallowing in Parkinson’s Disease
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Swallowing difficulties in Parkinson’s disease can result in decreased quality of life. The swallowing quality of life questionnaire (SWAL-QOL) is an instrument for specifically assessing quality of life with respect to swallowing, which has been little explored in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The goal of this study was to evaluate the quality of life with respect to swallowing in persons with PD compared to controls and at several stages of the disease using the SWAL-QOL. The experimental group was composed of 62 persons with PD at stages 1–4. Forty-one age-matched healthy subjects constituted the control group. The SWAL-QOL scores were significantly lower for the patients with PD than for the controls in all SWAL-QOL domains. Eating duration had the largest difference in score between persons with PD and the controls and the lowest mean score, followed by communication, fatigue, fear, sleep, and food selection. The scores of most domains were lower at later stages of the disease. The scores for eating duration, symptom frequency, and sleep were significantly lower at stage 4 than stages 1 and 2. In conclusion, patients with PD have significantly lower scores in all domains of the SWAL-QOL than normal controls. This means swallowing difficulties occurring in patients with PD negatively affect their QOL. Progression of the disease worsens swallowing QOL, more specifically in the domains of eating duration, symptom frequency, and sleep. This occurs mostly at later stages of the disease.
KeywordsParkinson’s disease Quality of life Swallowing Deglutition Deglutition disorders Scales
D. Carneiro held a scholarship from the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq)—Brazil.
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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