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Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2000 Jan;37(1):65-70.

Mental development in infants with cleft lip and/or palate.

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  • 1The Craniofacial Center of the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.



Investigated mental development in infants and toddlers with cleft lip and/or palate (CLP).


This was a retrospective analysis of developmental scores on qualified children between 4 and 36 months of age. Cross-sectional analysis included children in four age groups (6, 12, 18, and 24 months); longitudinal analysis included children at mean age 9.1 (range = 4 to 15) months at Time 1 and 24 months (range = 16 to 36) at Time 2.


Cross-sectional analysis included 180 children (59% male participants) in four diagnostic groups (cleft lip only [CL], cleft lip and palate [CLP], cleft palate only [CP], and Pierre Robin). The longitudinal sample included 85 children (64% male children) in the same diagnostic groups.


Mental Scale (MDI) of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development.


Mean MDIs were in the average range but decreased significantly between youngest and oldest groups in both cross-sectional (F(3,179) = 4.9, p<.01) and longitudinal samples (F(1,84) = 6.87, p<.01). There was a significant difference among cleft types (F(3,179) = 3.5, p<.025). Infants with CL obtained the highest scores, and infants with Pierre Robin Sequence obtained the lowest. Perceptual-motor development in the first year of life was predictive of developmental status at age 2.


The number of children with CLP who may be at risk for developmental problems during the second year of life is greater than would be expected. Children at greatest risk may demonstrate early delays in acquisition of perceptual-motor skills during the first year of life.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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