What is it about?

The study analyzed the impact of an approach to building capacity for cleft palate speech therapy. It quantified the increase in content knowledge and clinical skills about cleft palate speech therapy. There were three testing points, one before the trainees did the online course, one on the morning of the five-day inperson training, and the third on the last afternoon of the training.

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Why is it important?

In many countries worldwide there is a scarcity of professionals who have the expertise to provide cleft palate speech therapy to patients with repaired cleft palates. After the palate is repaired, the majority of patients need speech therapy to correct their speech that was developed when the patient did not have the anatomy to produce a number of speech sounds. With quality speech therapy, the patients can have completely typical speech, but without it the vast majority have speech that is very difficult to understand. This study shows that the approach of first completion of the online course, then a five-day in-person training including a daily clinical component show significant increases in the content knowledge and cleft speech clinical skills. These findings are preliminary but point to a valid way to build capacity in speech therapy for patients with repaired cleft palates.


I have been doing these trainings for a long time and collecting data at all three points. I was so grateful to work with my co-authors especially Drs. Baigorri, Hwang, and Levy to quantify the value of these trainings. Through this study I also learned that I want to include more assessment of clinical skills, which I have now incorporated into the more recent trainings that I have done. Also, the content knowledge part did not differentiate the more challenging content such as how to determine if the patient needs another surgery for speech and when a nasoendoscope is needed. I have also modified the tests to be more targeted.

Dr. Cate Jane Crowley
Teachers College, Columbia University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Impact of an International Training on Interventionists' Expertise in Cleft Palate Speech: Results From Oaxaca, Mexico, American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, April 2024, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA),
DOI: 10.1044/2024_ajslp-23-00397.
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