Objective : (1) To examine the evidence for the effectiveness of differences in timing and type of speech and language therapy for children with cleft palate with or without a cleft lip and (2) to identify types of interventions assessed. Design : Nine databases, including MEDLINE and EMBASE, were searched between inception and March 2011 to identify published articles relating to speech and language therapy for children with cleft palate with or without cleft lip. Studies that included at least 10 participants and reported outcome measures for speech and/or language measures were included. Studies where the experimental group had less than 90% of children with cleft palate with or without cleft lip were excluded. Two reviewers independently completed inclusion assessment, data extraction, and risk of bias assessment for all studies identified. Results : A total of 17 papers were evaluated: six randomized control trials and 11 observational studies. Studies varied widely on risk of bias, intervention used, and outcome measures reported. None of the studies had a low risk of bias. In terms of intervention approaches, seven studies evaluated linguistic approaches and 10 evaluated motor approaches. Outcomes measures did not support either approach over the other, and based on data reported it was difficult to ascertain which approach is more effective for children with cleft palate with or without cleft lip. Conclusions : The review found little evidence to support any specific intervention. Key uncertainties need to be identified and adequately powered, methodologically rigorous studies conducted to provide a secure evidence base for speech-language therapy practice in children with cleft palate with or without cleft lip.
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- Medical and Health Sciences (3)