The Relationship between the Type of Cleft and Nasal Air Emission in Speech of Children with Cleft Palate or Cleft Lip and Palate
BACKGROUND: Cleft palate, due to damage of the soft palate, leads to dysfunction, i.e., inappropriate closure of the velopharynx during speech production, thus resulting in velopharyngeal insufficiency which characterises with hypernasal speech and nasal air loss/emission during speech production.
AIM: To establish the relationship between the type of cleft according to the Veau classification and the degree of nasal air emission in the speech of patients with cleft using auditory-visual perceptual assessment procedures.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A group of 40 patients with irregular speech aged 4 to 7, out of which 20 with cleft palate or cleft lip and palate, participated in the research. The Veau classification was used to classify the cleft severity, while an indirect instrumental examination was conducted with the See-Scape instrument to detect nasal air emission during the speech.
RESULTS: The respondents with cleft palate or cleft lip and palate of higher Veau class had a greater degree of nasal air emission during the speech. There is a positive, statistically significant correlation between the results obtained with the Veau classification of cleft lip and palate, and the degree of nasal air emission. The value of Spearmanâ€™s coefficient of correlation is R = 0.46, and the calculated p-value is p = 0.04.
CONCLUSION: A more severe cleft type is associated with an increased degree of nasal air emission during the speech, and vice versa.
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