Quality of Speech Following Cleft Palate Surgery in Children

Shahin Abdollahi Fakhim, Nikzad Shahidi, Gelavizh Karimi Javan


Background: Surgical treatment of cleft palate is accompanied with speech problems. Speech therapy in these children after surgery can improve their speech. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the quality of speaking in operated cleft palate patients and speech therapy effects in a small group of these patients. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, speech quality of 55 children with operated cleft palate was assessed regarding resonance, audible nasal emission, consonant production and speech acceptability. Speech outcomes after therapy were evaluated in 19 patients. Results: Cleft palate types were unilateral cleft and lip palate in 18 cases, bilateral cleft and lip palate in 4 cases, secondary cleft palate type in 30 cases and of mere-soft palate in 3 cases. Thirty-five children were operated during the first year of life and 20 were operated after the first year. More than 55% of patients had normal hypernasality with few cases of severe hypernasality and less than 45% had error in consonant production. Patients operated during first year of life had more speech problems. Speech parameters were improved in 19 patients after speech therapy. Conclusion: In conclusion, children with cleft palate have some degrees of speech disorders after repair surgery than could be improved by the speech therapy. Speech therapy should be considered as one of the main treatment protocols along with repair surgery in children with cleft palate.


Cleft Palate, Children, Speech Outcome, Speech Therapy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.abcmed.v.6n.2p.14


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