Evaluation of Discipline-Specific Outcomes Through a Multidisciplinary Team Clinic for Patients With Isolated Cleft Palate

Prerak B. Trivedi, William M. Padovano, Gary B. Skolnick, Maithilee D. Menezes, Lynn M. Grames, Susan Cheung, Andrew M. Kim, Mary M. Cradock, Sybill D. Naidoo, Alison K. Snyder-Warwick, Kamlesh B. Patel

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4 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the incidence and timing of provider-specific interventions for children with isolated cleft palate. Design: This was a retrospective cohort study involving review of medical records. Setting: Multidisciplinary team care clinic at a tertiary academic children’s hospital between January 2000 and July 2019. Patients: Patients with isolated nonsyndromic cleft palate seen by an American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association-approved team; 138 children were included. Main Outcome Measures: Study outcomes included incidence of secondary velopharyngeal management, tympanostomy tube insertion, speech therapy, hearing loss, dental/orthodontic treatment, and psychology interventions. Provider-specific outcomes were calculated for patients at ages 0 to 3, 3 to 5, and >5 years. Results: Median follow-up time was 7.0 years (interquartile range: 3.3-11.8 years). At their last team assessment, 42% of patients still had conductive hearing loss. The rate of tympanostomy tube insertions not done alongside a palatoplasty was highest for ages 3 to 5 and dropped after new American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation guidelines in 2013 (P =.015); 54% of patients received speech-language therapy during follow-up. Palatoplasty, psychology, and dental/orthodontic treatment were all less common than speech or ENT treatment (P <.01). Secondary palatoplasty was performed in 31 patients (22%). Patients who received speech, dental/orthodontic, or psychology intervention followed up longer than those who did not (9.8 vs 2.1 years, P <.001). Conclusion: Half of the patients terminated team follow-up by age 7, suggesting that burden of care outweighed perceived benefits of continued follow-up for many families. These results can be used to adjust protocols for children with isolated cleft palate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1517-1525
Number of pages9
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • ethics/health policies
  • nonsyndromic clefting
  • palatoplasty
  • quality of life


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