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Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2007 Oct;45(7):527-33. Epub 2007 Mar 23.

The effect of early insertion of grommets on the development of speech in children with cleft palates.

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Taunton & Somerset Hospital, Taunton, TA1 5AE, United Kingdom.


The aim of this study was to find out whether simultaneous primary palatoplasty and myringotomy was advantageous in the management of otitis media with effusion in children with cleft lip and palate and whether this combined operation resulted in improvement in the early development of speech. Assessments of hearing and speech were made in 50 consecutive patients with cleft lip and palate who had the combined operation (the cleft group). The results were compared with those of an age- and sex-matched control group. The incidence of otitis media with effusion in the cleft group was 24%, compared with 14% in the control group. Assessment of speech using the cleft audit protocol for speech showed that 90% of patients with clefts had speech-intelligibility ratings that were either normal or showed only minor defects, compared with 98% of controls. Among patients with clefts, there was no evidence of cleft-type characteristics of speech in 58%.

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