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Speech outcome in unilateral complete cleft lip and palate patients: a descriptive study

Type:  Articles

Pubblication date:  09/2014

Authors:  R. Rullo*, D. Di Maggio****, F. Addabbo*, F. Rullo***, V. M. Festa*, L. Perillo**

Language:  English

Institution:  Multidisciplinary Department of Medical, Surgical and Dental Specialties, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy *Oral Surgery Postgraduate Program **Orthodontics Postgraduate Program ***Department of Neurological,Reproductive and Dental Sciences, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, gItaly ****Speech therapist private pratictioner, Naples, Italy

Publication:  European Journal of Paediatic Dentistry

Publisher:  Ariesdue Srl

Keywords:  Unilateral cleft lip and palate; Intelligibility; Speech assessment; Speech disorders; Speech outcome.

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Title:  Speech outcome in unilateral complete cleft lip and palate patients: a descriptive study

Abstract:  Aim In this study, resonance and articulation disorders were examined in a group of patients surgically treated for cleft lip and palate, considering family social background, and children’s ability of self monitoring their speech output while speaking. Materials and methods Fifty children (32 males and 18 females) mean age 6.5±1.6 years, affected by non-syndromic complete unilateral cleft of the lip and palate underwent the same surgical protocol. The speech level was evaluated using the Accordi’s speech assessment protocol that focuses on intelligibility, nasality, nasal air escape, pharyngeal friction, and glottal stop. Pearson product-moment correlation analysis was used to detect significant associations between analysed parameters. Results A total of 16% (8 children) of the sample had severe to moderate degree of nasality and nasal air escape, presence of pharyngeal friction and glottal stop, which obviously compromise speech intelligibility. Ten children (10%) showed a barely acceptable phonological outcome: nasality and nasal air escape were mild to moderate, but the intelligibility remained poor. Thirty-two children (64%) had normal speech. Statistical analysis revealed a significant correlation between the severity of nasal resonance and nasal air escape (p≤ 0.05). No statistical significant correlation was found between the final intelligibility and the patient social background, neither between the final intelligibility nor the age of the patients. Conclusion The differences in speech outcome could be explained with a specific, subjective, and inborn ability, different for each child, in self-monitoring their speech output.

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