dr. Margot Baudelet (PhD)

CRIG member
Margot Baudelet

PhD student – Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Human Structure and Repair – University of Ghent
PhD student – Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences – University of Antwerp 
Principal investigators : dr. Fréderic Duprez (MD) (UGent) and prof. Gwen Van Nuffelen (MD) (UAntwerpen)


Research focus

Swallowing disorders are common and widely reported after (chemo)radiotherapy for head and neck cancer patients and can persist for a long period of time. It involves muscle weakness and incoordination or timing issues what can lead to medical problems such as feeding-tube dependency, malnutrition and pneumonia. These consequences have a major negative impact on daily functioning and health-related quality of life and can even be life-threatening. In addition to the medical consequences, the social and psychological effects of swallowing problems should not be underestimated. It can lead to problems with self-image and depression. This stresses the importance of prevention, monitoring and management of this problem. Nowadays, there is no “gold-standard” in the assessment or treatment of swallowing disorders in head and neck cancer patients. An increasing number of studies, however, show that prophylactic swallowing exercises can have a significantly positive effect on the swallowing function. Unfortunately, low adherence rates are a key issue in undermining these positive effects and prevent clinical implementation of these exercises.
Our research team aims to develop the most efficient and feasible patient-supported swallowing program in which the adherence rates are maximized.

Key publications

  • ‘Very late xerostomia, dysphagia, and neck fibrosis after head and neck radiotherapy’. Head & Neck, 2019. (PMID: 31329343)
  • ‘Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial: prophylactic swallowing exercises in head-and-neck cancer patients treated with (chemo) radiotherapy (PRESTO trial)’. Trials, 2020. (PMID: 32122397)
  • ‘The effect of tongue‐strengthening exercises on tongue strength and swallowing‐related parameters in chronic radiation‐associated dysphagia’. Head & Neck, 2020. (PMID: 32352198)

Contact & links

  • Lab address: campus UZ Gent, entrance 98, floor 1, Corneel Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
  • Margot Baudelet is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks