Phonology in Swedish-speaking 3-year-olds born with unilateral cleft lip and palate treated with palatal closure in one or two stages.J Plast Surg Hand Surg. 2017 Apr; 51(2):112-117.JP
Phonological disorders are common in 3-year-olds born with cleft palate compared to non-cleft peers. However, published results have been based on small samples. The purpose was to expand the knowledge on phonology of Swedish-speaking 3-year-olds with unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP), treated with primary palatal closure in one or two stages.
The phonology of 26 children with UCLP was assessed with percentage consonants correct adjusted for age (PCC-A) and number of consistent phonological simplification processes (NCP) at age 3. Fifteen of the children were treated with minimal incision technique in one stage (OS) at 13 months and 11 with a two-stage closure (TS) with soft palate repair at 4 months and hard palate repair at 12 months. Their results were compared and then merged with previously obtained data from 10 children treated with OS and nine children treated with TS. Finally, the merged results were compared with those of 20 peers without UCLP.
No significant differences between the first two groups were found. In the merged results, NCP in the OS group was significantly lower than in the TS group. The UCLP group displayed significantly poorer results on PCC-A and NCP than peers without UCLP.
Surgical procedure did not have a clear impact on phonology at age 3 years. Since children with UCLP are at risk of having impaired phonology at age 3, the results confirm the necessity of having both a phonological and articulatory approach when assessing and treating children born with cleft palate.