Application of Ultrasound Biofeedback to the Learning of the Mendelsohn Maneuver in Non-dysphagic Adults: A Pilot Study

Elaine Kwong, Ka-Wing Katrina Ng, Man Tak Leung, Yong-Ping Zheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to investigate the application of ultrasound to the learning of swallowing maneuver. Forty non-dysphagic adults of both genders who were naïve to the Mendelsohn maneuver participated in the study. They were randomly assigned to receive ultrasound or surface electromyography (sEMG) as biofeedback when acquiring the Mendelsohn maneuver. Thirty-eight subjects (n = 19) completed the Learning phase. Accuracy of executing the Mendelsohn maneuver was measured immediately (Post-training percentage accuracy) and one week post-training (Retention percentage accuracy). Whereas comparable numbers of training blocks were completed by the two groups (t(31.51) = 3.68, p = 0.330), the Ultrasound group attained significantly higher percentage accuracies than the sEMG group at both Post-training (t(28.88) = 4.04, p < 0.001, d = 1.309) and Retention (t(30.78) = 2.13, p = 0.042, d = 0.690). Ultrasound is a more effective biofeedback than sEMG in the acquisition of the Mendelsohn maneuver and may be adopted to the rehabilitative treatment for dysphagic individuals. Non-specificity of sEMG as biofeedback should be emphasized when it is employed in the training and learning of swallowing maneuvers. Findings from the present study suggest that ultrasound is preferable to sEMG as biofeedback in the learning of the Mendelsohn maneuver.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-658
Issue number4
Early online date5 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Biofeedback
  • Deglutition disorders
  • Motor learning
  • Surface electromyography (sEMG)
  • Swallowing maneuver
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Speech and Hearing


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