Authors: Van Lierde KM, Bonte K, Baudonck N, Van Cauwenberge P, De Leenheer EMR
Title: Speech outcome regarding overall intelligibility, articulation, resonance and voice in Flemish children a year after pharyngeal flap surgery: A pilot study
Source: Folia Phoniatrica et Logopedica 2008 60(5): 223-232
Year: 2008
Research Design: Case Series

Objective: The main purpose of this study is to determine the treatment effectiveness of pharyngeal flap surgery by measuring speech outcome 1 year after surgery. The authors hypothesized that flap surgery is an effective technique for velopharyngeal inadequacy resulting in improved intelligibility, decreased hypernasality and nasalance scores and normal voice characteristics. Patients and Methods: Objective (Nasometer, Dysphonia Severity Index) as well as subjective (perceptual evaluations) assessment techniques were performed in 7 subjects. Speech evaluations were performed 1 year after flap surgery and comparison was made between the speech results of the preoperative condition (1 week before surgery) and the first postoperative condition (6 weeks after surgery). Results: After pharyngeal flap surgery there was improved though still slightly impaired intelligibility, with normal nasality, normal nasalance values for standard Flemish speech and normal voice characteristics. The normal nasality and nasalance values were not present in the preoperative condition. Persistence of the incorrect production of the thrill sound /r/ and the fricatives /s/ and /sch/ were observed. Conclusion: It is likely that the slightly impaired speech intelligibility is determined by the presence of persistent articulation disorders.

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