Authors: Luyten A, Bettens K, D’haeseleer E, Hodges A, Galiwango G, Vermeersch H, Van Lierde K
Title: Short-term effect of short, intensive speech therapy on articulation and resonance in Ugandan patients with cleft (lip and) palate
Source: Journal of Communication Disorders 2016 61: 71-82
Year: 2016
Research Design: Single Case Design

Objectives: The purpose of the current study was to assess the short-term effectiveness of short and intensive speech therapy provided to patients with cleft (lip and) palate (C(L)P) in terms of articulation and resonance. Methods: Five Ugandan patients (age: 7.3-19.6 years) with non-syndromic C(L)P received six hours of individualized speech therapy in three to four days. Speech therapy focused on correct phonetic placement and contrasts between oral and nasal airflow and resonance. Speech evaluations performed before and immediately after speech therapy, including perceptual and instrumental assessment techniques, were compared. Results: Post-therapy, improvement of speech was noted for most of the patients, although to varying degrees. Clinically relevant progress of objective nasalance values and/or articulation was obtained in four patients. Overall, two patients showed normal speech intelligibility, while three patients required additional speech therapy. Conclusion: These preliminary short-term results demonstrate that short and intensive speech therapy can be effective for patients with C(L)P in countries with limited access to speech-language therapy. However, further research is needed on the long-term effectiveness and the advantages of applying this treatment protocol in countries with good access to speech therapy.

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