Authors: Alighieri C, Bettens K, Bruneel L, D'Haeseleer E, Van Gaever E, Van Lierde K
Title: Effectiveness of Speech Intervention in Patients With a Cleft Palate: Comparison of Motor-Phonetic Versus Linguistic-Phonological Speech Approaches
Source: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 2020 63(12): 3909-3933
Year: 2020
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
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Purpose The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of two different speech therapy approaches, a traditional motor-phonetic approach and a linguistic-phonological approach, on the speech and health-related quality of life in Dutch-speaking children with a cleft palate with or without a cleft lip (CP +/- L) between 4 and 12 years old. Method A block-randomized, sham-controlled design was used. Fourteen children with a CP +/- L (Mage = 7.71 years) were divided into two groups using block randomization stratified by age and gender: one receiving motor-phonetic intervention (n = 7) and one receiving linguistic-phonological intervention (n = 7). Each group received 10 hr of speech therapy divided over 2 weeks. Perceptual speech assessments were performed on several baseline and posttreatment data points. The psychosocial effects of the intervention were assessed using the patient-reported Velopharyngeal Insufficiency Effects on Life Outcomes questionnaire. Both groups were compared over time using (generalized) linear mixed models. Within-group effects of time were determined using pairwise comparisons with post hoc Bonferroni correction. Results Significant Time x Group interactions with large effect sizes were revealed in terms of consonant proficiency, indicating significant differences in evolution over time among the two groups. Only in the group receiving linguistic-phonological intervention, percentage of correctly produced consonants and places significantly improved after the treatment. Total Velopharyngeal Insufficiency Effects on Life Outcomes scores of the parents significantly improved in both groups after the intervention. Conclusions Both motor-phonetic and linguistic-phonological speech interventions can have a positive impact on the occurrence of cleft speech characteristics and consonant proficiency in children with a CP +/- L. A linguistic-phonological approach, however, was observed to be more effective in terms of improving these speech outcomes compared with a motor-phonetic approach. Speech intervention, irrespective of the used approach, significantly improved the participant's health-related quality of life.

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