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Telemedicine-enabled biofeedback electropalatography rehabilitation (TEBER): A pilot study for patients treated with surgery for oral cavity carcinoma.

Head & Neck 2024 April 2
BACKGROUND: To address the rehabilitative barriers to frequency and precision of care, we conducted a pilot study of a biofeedback electropalatography (EPG) device paired with telemedicine for patients who underwent primary surgery +/- adjuvant radiation for oral cavity carcinoma. We hypothesized that lingual optimization followed by telemedicine-enabled biofeedback electropalatography rehabilitation (TEBER) would further improve speech and swallowing outcomes after "standard-of-care" SOC rehabilitation.

METHOD: Pilot prospective 8-week (TEBER) program following 8 weeks of (SOC) rehabilitation.

RESULTS: Twenty-seven patients were included and 11 completed the protocol. When examining the benefit of TEBER independent of standard of care, "range-of-liquids" improved by +0.36 [95% CI, 0.02-0.70, p = 0.05] and "range-of-solids" improved by +0.73 [95% CI, 0.12-1.34, p = 0.03]. There was a positive trend toward better oral cavity obliteration; residual volume decreased by -1.2 [95% CI, -2.45 to 0.053, p = 0.06], and "nutritional-mode" increased by +0.55 [95% CI, -0.15 to 1.24, p = 0.08].

CONCLUSION: This pilot suggests that TEBER bolsters oral rehabilitation after 8 weeks of SOC lingual range of motion.

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