Table 2

Number of consistencies of liquids and purees swallowed safely on VFSS and oral feeding ability level by participant at baseline, 2 months and 4 months after NMES intervention

Demographics at baselineBaseline2 months4 monthsImprovement score†Oral feedingchange‡
Gestational age, age and weight at baselineNeurological impairment aetiology or descriptionTube feedingSafe consistencies on VFSS (n)Oral feeding ability level*Safe consistencies on VFSS (n)Oral feeding ability levelSafe consistencies on VFSS (n)Oral feeding ability level
1Term, 4.2 months, 5.3 kgHypotonia+010132+30% to <50%
2Term, 13.0 months, 6.2 kgGenetic/syndromic3444+1100%–100%
3Term, 1.8 months, 3.9 kgHypotonia+010254+50%–100%
435 weeks, 12.5 months, 8.8 kgHypotonia+0154+50%–100%
524 weeks, 10.6 months, 7.4 kgPreterm, IVH345444+1100%–100%
7Term, 8.9 months, 6.9 kgPseudobulbar palsy+010132+30% to <50%
9Term, 4.5 months, 5.2 kgGenetic/syndromic+0154+50%–100%
  • *Oral feeding ability and the need for tube feeding was assessed using a structured scale based on parental report of dietary intake that included: level 1: nothing by mouth, all nutrition by tube feeds; level 2: <50% intake by mouth, supplemental tube feeding required; level 3: >50% intake by mouth, supplemental tube feeding required; level 4: all by mouth, no tube feeding.

  • †The increase in the number of consistencies the infant could safely swallow from baseline to last measurement on VFSS.

  • ‡Proportion of intake by mouth at baseline and at last measurement.

  • IVH, intraventricular haemorrhage; NMES, neuromuscular electrical stimulation; VFSS, videofluoroscopic swallow study.