Introduction: Cleft palate is the most common congenital deformity of the face. It could have a detrimental effect on speech acquisition, resulting in problems such as compensatory articulations, which could persist into adulthood. Although there exists a substantial literature about speech intervention using electropalatography (EPG), there has not been a systematic review of the effectiveness of EPG. Hence, it remains difficult for speech-language therapists to decide whether or not to use EPG in their clinical practice.
Method: A systematic review was conducted using this inclusion criterion – randomised controlled studies comparing EPG intervention to no treatment, delayed treatment, standard treatment, or alternative treatment techniques for managing articulation problems associated with cleft palate in children or adults. We searched 13 databases – The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library Issue 1, 2008); MEDLINE (1966 to March 2008); EMBASE (1974 to March 2008); ERIC (1966 to March 2008); PsycINFO (1967 to March 2008); CINAHL (1982 to March 2008); Linguistics and Language Behaviour Abstracts (1973 to March 2008); Allied and Complementary Medicine (1985 to March 2008); Latin American health Sceinces Literature (1982 to March 2008); Japana Centra Revuo Medicina (1983 to February 2008); The National Research Register (searched March 2008); ClinicalTrials.gov (searched March 2008); and Dissertation Abstracts (1861 to March 2008). We hand-searched three journals and the EPG bibliography (Gibbon, 2007). We reviewed reference lists of relevant articles and approached colleagues and researchers to identify other possible published and unpublished studies.
Results: No trials were identified.
Conclusions: There is no evidence from randomised trials to support or refute the effectiveness of EPG for speech therapy. There is a need for good quality randomised trials to be undertaken in this area.
Gibbon, F. E. (2007). Bibliography of electropalatographic (EPG) studies in English (1957-2007). Retrieved February, 5, 2008, from http://www.qmu.ac.uk/ssrc/cleftnet/epgref.htm