The aim of this randomized trial is to test if pharyngeal electrical stimulation is effective compared to usual care when used in the real-world.
Recruitment will take place in 50 sites in 4 European countries (UK, Austria, Denmark, Germany). Following consent, patients will be allocated at random to either receive a treatment catheter and electrical stimulation, or to continue with their normal feeding tube. Treatment will be given for six days by a specially trained researcher, nurse or swallowing therapist. The main outcome will be improvement in swallowing using the dysphagia severity rating scale two weeks after starting treatment, and assessed without knowledge of treatment. Other outcomes will include pneumonia, antibiotic usage, continued need for a feeding tube, disability, quality of life, memory and thinking, mood and death.
Project lead in Austria