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Speech Therapy as Treatment for Supragastric Belching


The purpose of this study was to describe a newly developed speech therapy program as an innovating therapeutic approach and to assess the results of this intervention in patients with supragastric belching. This is a retrospective analysis of prospectively gathered data from 73 patients with supragastric belching who were treated with speech therapy between 2007 and 2017. Of these, 48 were included for evaluation of therapy. Thirty patients had supragastric belching proven by 24-h impedance measurements. Eighteen patients were diagnosed by an experienced speech language pathologist as having supragastric belching according to precise criteria. Speech therapy consists of explanation, creating awareness of esophageal air influx and exercises to discontinue the supragastric belching mechanism. Therapy effect was measured by comparing visual analogue scale (VAS) scores on belching and related symptoms. The median symptom duration at the start of therapy was 2 years. Supragastric belching symptoms decreased significantly with a total median VAS score of 406 (291–463) prior to treatment and a median VAS score of 125 (17–197) following treatment. Forty patients (83%) had a sufficient to major result with a median therapy duration of 3 months and ten sessions. Speech therapy was an effective treatment in the majority of patients with supragastric belching.

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Correspondence to Liesbeth ten Cate.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was not required because our manuscript describes a retrospective study wherein the gathered data are part of the regular treatment.

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ten Cate, L., Herregods, T.V.K., Dejonckere, P.H. et al. Speech Therapy as Treatment for Supragastric Belching. Dysphagia 33, 707–715 (2018).

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  • Supragastric belching
  • Speech therapy
  • Air inhalation
  • Air injection
  • Glottal closure
  • Abdominal breathing
  • Deglutition
  • Deglutition disorders