Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Speech Pathology and Audiology

First Advisor

Helen Sharp

Second Advisor

Stephen Tasko

Third Advisor

Sandra Glista


Background: Cleft lip and/or palate is one of the most common congenital anomalies. The goal of treatment of cleft palate is normal speech, but a proportion of children with clefts exhibit speech disorders. Various outcome measures are used, but relatively few have focused on self-assessment or caregiver perception of outcome. The studies that have been done focus on comparing parents' and speech-language pathologists' ratings of speech outcome. These studies can be used to determine the degree to which caregivers are satisfied with speech outcome over time.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe the relationship between speech ratings provided by caregivers and a speech-language pathologist for patients with clefts.

Methods: A caregiver rating scale to allow caregivers to report on speech outcomes was administered as part of routine clinical history and completed by 29 caregivers. The speech language assessment protocol provided ratings of intelligibility, articulation, receptive language, expressive language, oral structure and functions, voice, resonance, and nasal emission. Caregivers' ratings of their child's overall speech excellence were compared to the speech-language pathologist's ratings for intelligibility, articulation, and resonance.

Results: Relationships were identified between caregivers' responses to their child's overall speech excellence and the speech-language pathologist's ratings of intelligibility (r=.68), articulation (r=.88), and hypernasal resonance (r=.50).

Conclusion: Articulation and intelligibility were most related to caregiver ratings of speech outcome. Future studies should address bigger sample sizes, control groups, multiple treatment centers, and independent ratings.


PowerPoint accompanying.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Swain. Thesis Powerpoint. 2013.EMS.pptx (3369 kB)
Powerpoint Presentation