Authors: Pinto JHN, Dalben G, Pegoraro-Krook MI
Title: Speech Intelligibility of Patients with Cleft Lip and Palate after Placement of Speech Prosthesis
Source: Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal 2007 44(6): 635-641
Year: 2007
Research Design: Case Series

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the speech intelligibility of patients with clefts before and after placement of a speech prosthesis. DESIGN: Cross-sectional. Setting: Hospital for Rehabilitation of Craniofacial Anomalies, University of Sao Paulo (HRACIUSP), Bauru, Brazil. PATIENTS: Twenty-seven patients with unoperated cleft palate or operated cleft palate presenting with velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI) after primary palatoplasty, treated with speech prosthesis, aged 8 to 63 years. INTERVENTIONS: Patients were fitted with palatopharyngeal obturators or pharyngeal bulbs, suitable to their dental needs. Five speech-language pathologists blindly evaluated speech samples of the patients with and without the prosthesis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Classification of speech samples according to a scoring system developed for speech intelligibility problems: 1 (normal), 2 (mild), 3 (mild to moderate), 4 (moderate), 5 (moderate to severe), and 6 (severe). Results were evaluated by the calculation of means of all judges for each patient in both situations. RESULTS: The judges presented significant agreement (W = .789, p< .01). Speech intelligibility was significantly better after placement of the prosthesis for both unoperated patients (Z = 1.93, p = .02) and operated patients with VPI after primary palatoplasty (Z = 1.78, p = .03). CONCLUSIONS: Speech intelligibility may be improved by rehabilitation of patients with cleft palate using a speech prosthesis. Speech therapy is needed to eliminate any compensatory articulation productions developed prior to prosthetic management. © Allen Press Publishing Service

Access: Open Access