Behavioral Treatment of Chronic Belching Due to Aerophagia in a Normal Adult

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Aerophagia, or excessive air swallowing, is a potential cause of belching, flatulence, bloating, and abdominal pain and may contribute to a worsening of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. A limited number of published reports of aerophagia treatment indicate that behavioral methods may be of benefit. A case report is presented describing the behavioral treatment of chronic belching due to aerophagia in an adult female. The collaborative application of single-participant design research helped identify open-mouth, diaphragmatic breathing and minimized swallowing as an effective intervention. Belching frequency was reduced from an average rate of 18 per 5-min interval during the baseline period to 3 per 5-min period after treatment. Results were maintained at an 18-month follow-up. Recommendations for the use of a brief treatment protocol with adults referred for chronic belching or other GI complaints attributed to aerophagia are discussed.



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