Objectives: The ultimate goal of speech therapy for children with cleft palate is to facilitate communication. For this goal to be achieved, an accurate assessment is crucial in designing appropriate therapy. However, the assessment of hypernasality for children with cleft palate has relied on evaluators' intrinsic and subjective judgment as opposed to external and objective criterion. The purpose of this study is to identify factors contributing to the perceptual judgment of hypernasality. Methods: Twelve speech-language therapists (SLPs) and twenty-nine graduate students participated in this study. Sixteen children with cleft palate from 5 to 13 years old were selected for voice samples. All of them had major hypernasality problems. They were asked to read words and sentences as well as to retell a story. Their sixteen audio files were used as perceptual assessment data. The participants were asked to listen to the sixteen audio samples and to answer the questions of the Hypernasality Perceptual Profile (HNPP). The HNPP consists of the following six factors: general impression, type of phoneme, consistency, frequency, social acceptance, and understandability. A second assessment was performed a week after the first. Results: Regression analysis shows social acceptance and type of phoneme as significant factors predicting the general impression of hypernasality. The social acceptance factor was revealed to be the most powerful predictor. Conclusion: This study suggests SLPs tend to rely on social acceptance in the perceptual evaluation of hypernasality rather than their own experience.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 Korean Academy of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.
- Cleft palate
- Influential factors
- Perceptual judgment