Two single-case studies of electropalatography

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktForskningpeer review


EPG has been used in speech therapy for cleft related speech disorders since the 1980es. Although numerous single-case studies exist, they typically have serious limitations in study design and methodology.

In the present studies we measured treatment effect by having experienced listeners judge articulation in single words, by looking at the change in epg contact patterns during therapy, and by having naive listeners judge speech acceptability on a visual analogue scale.

One girl aged 11, born with UCLP, and one girl aged 17, born with BCLP received epg therapy once a week for 10 weeks.

Both girls presented with slight retraction of alveolars which affected speech acceptability, but not speech intelligibility.

Three speech therapists listened to 360 single words with alveolar targets in word initial, word medial, and word final position. Single words were recorded before therapy, twice during therapy, immediately after therapy and one month after therapy. Words were presented in random order (???), and 20% of the words were presented twice for intra rater calculation purposes.

Two raters were experienced in transcribing cleft speech as they have botth been part of the ScandCleft project, and one rater worked for one year in the Cph Cleft palate centre.

The words were not transcribed, but categorised into different categories. In this presentation, only two categories have been used: Retracted vs. non-retracted.

Intra rater agreement was good, between 80 and 94%, but inter rater agreement between all three raters was modest. The issue of disagreement was handled byHowever, since only two categories were used, the disagreement was handled bytwo raters would always be in agreement which decided the result.

The following illustrations show the change in percentage of retracted targets rises during therapy, but decreases after therapy. Case A starts with 71 percent not retracted consonants and ends with 90 percent, while Case B starts with 50% not retracted consonants and ends with 71 percent.

The same picture can be seen at the epg contact patterns where, interestingly, there also seems to be a carry-over effect since /d/ was the first sound treated in therapy, and /t/ wasn’t introduced until session 6.

Finally, we wanted to know if lay people would be able to distinguish between the girls’ speech before and after therapy. 21 naive listeners were presented with 8 versions of retelling of the bus story: Case A and B before therapy and one month after therapy, two children with normal speech, one child which also had retracted articulation, and one child with severely distorted speech. The naive listeners were told to judge speech acceptability on a visual analogue scale, but were not informed of the purpose of the listening task, and that some of the children were the same.

90 % of the naive listeners rated the speech of Case A as more acceptable after epg therapy while only 57% rated the speech of Case B as more acceptable after epg therapy.

Perhaps the most important point is that both girls and their families express satisfaction with epg therapy compared with traditional speech therapy and are now happy with their speech, 3 years post therapy.

StatusUdgivet - 2013
Udgivet eksterntJa
Begivenhed12. International Congress on Cleft Lip & Palate and Related Craniofacial Anomalies - Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, USA
Varighed: 5 maj 201310 maj 2013


Konference12. International Congress on Cleft Lip & Palate and Related Craniofacial Anomalies
LokationHilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista