Speech therapy in patients with excessive supragastric belching – a pilot study

Department of Gastroenterology, Sint Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands.
Neurogastroenterology and Motility (Impact Factor: 3.42). 08/2009; 22(1):24-8, e2-3. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2982.2009.01371.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In patients whose main symptom is excessive belching, supragastric belching appears to be the predominant mechanism. This belch pattern is characterized by a rapid influx of air into the oesophagus, immediately followed by rapid air expulsion. The rate at which supragastric belching occurs is influenced by attention and distraction, suggesting a behavioural disorder and speech therapy may be of benefit to these patients. In 17 consecutive patients with excessive belching, concurrent impedance monitoring and high-resolution manometry were performed to ascertain the mechanism of belching. Patients with supragastric belches were referred to a speech therapist, who was familiar with the concept of supragastric belching. Before and after treatment by the speech therapist, patients filled out a VAS scale regarding the severity of their symptoms. In all patients, supragastric belches were identified with impedance monitoring. Eleven patients were referred to a speech therapist, six patients were not able or willing to undergo repetitive treatments. Eleven patients completed treatment by the speech therapist consisting of 10 (8-10) sessions. Overall, the VAS scales showed a significant improvement of the severity of symptoms (P < 0.05). Six of the 11 patients reported a large decrease (>30%) in their symptoms and four patients reported a modest decrease (<30%). In one patient, the VAS scores indicated an increase in symptoms. Speech therapy performed by a well-informed speech pathologist leads to a significant symptom reduction in patients with excessive supragastric belching. This is the first study indicating benefit of a treatment for excessive belching.

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