Universal parameters for reporting speech outcomes in individuals with cleft palate

Gunilla Henningsson, David P. Kuehn, Debbie Sell, Triona Sweeney, Judith E. Trost-Cardamone, Tara L. Whitehill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To achieve consistency and uniformity in reporting speech outcomes in individuals born with cleft palate with or without cleft lip using perceptual parameters that characterize their speech production behavior regardless of the language or languages spoken. Design: A working group of six individuals experienced in speech and cleft palate was formed to develop a system of universal parameters for reporting speech outcomes in individuals born with cleft palate. The system was adopted in conjunction with a workshop held in Washington, D.C., that was devoted to developing the universal system. The system, which was refined further following the workshop, involves a three-stage plan consisting of (1) evaluation, (2) mapping, and (3) reporting. The current report focuses primarily on the third stage, reporting speech outcomes. Results: A set of five universal speech parameters has been devised for the reporting stage. These consist of (1) hypernasality, (2) hyponasality, (3) audible nasal air emission and/or nasal turbulence, (4) consonant production errors, and (5) voice disorder. Also included are speech understandability and speech acceptability, global parameters that can be reported for any type of speech disorder. The parameters are described in detail, and guidelines for speech-sampling content and scoring procedures in relation to the parameters are presented. Conclusion: A plan has been developed to document speech outcomes in individuals with cleft palate, regardless of the spoken language, using a set of five universal reporting parameters and two global speech parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Cleft palate
  • Outcome measures
  • Speech

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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