Scandcleft Project Trial 2 ‒ Comparison of speech outcome in one and two-stage palatal closure in 5-year-olds with UCLP

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To investigate in-depth speech results in the Scandcleft Trial 2 with comparisons between surgical protocols and centers and with benchmarks from peers without cleft palate.

A prospective randomized clinical trial.

Two Swedish and one Finnish Cleft Palate center.

One hundred twelve participants were 5-years-old born with unilateral cleft lip and palate randomized to either lip repair and soft palate closure at 4 months and hard palate closure at 12 months or lip repair at 3 to 4 months (Arm A), or a closure of both the soft and hard palate at 12 months (Arm C).

Main Outcome Measures:
A composite measure dichotomized into velopharyngeal competency (VPC) or velopharyngeal incompetency (VPI), overall assessment of velopharyngeal function (VPC-Rate), percentage of consonants correct (PCC score), and consonant errors. In addition, number of speech therapy visits, average hearing thresholds, and secondary surgeries were documented to assess burden of treatment.

Across the trial, 53.5% demonstrated VPC and 46.5% VPI with no significant differences between arms or centers. In total, 27% reached age-appropriate PCC scores with no statistically significant difference between the arms. The Finnish center had significantly higher PCC scores, the Swedish centers had higher percentages of oral consonant errors. Number of speech therapy visits was significantly higher in the Finnish center.

At age 5, poor speech outcomes with some differences between participating centers were seen but could not be attributed to surgical protocol. As one center had very few participants, the results from that center should be interpreted with caution.

Keywords randomized clinical trial, primary palatal repair, velopharyngeal competence, consonant proficiency, intercenter study, crosslinguistic
Original languageEnglish
JournalCleft Palate - Craniofacial Journal
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)458-469
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ID: 226222840