Cleft Lip and Palate: Demographic Patterns and the Associated Communication Disorders

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This study investigated demographical characteristics, health status, and associated communication disorders in patients with orofacial clefts (OFCs) in Northern Jordan.


A retrospective study of 226 cleft patients and their families was carried out between March 2012 and September 2016 at the Speech and Hearing Clinic and the Maxillofacial Center at King Abdullah University Hospital. Data were collected by interviewing patients and caregivers, having patients or caregiver to complete a questionnaire and reviewing the patient's medical records. The frequencies of OFC type, demographic, health status, and communication disorders variables were calculated. χ2 analysis was used to test for significance of associated demographic and communication disorders variables with OFC type.


Results revealed higher percentage of males compared with female patients. The majority of OFC patients were born to families who lived in urban areas, obtained high school diploma or lower educational level, lived below poverty cutoff, and showed nonconsanguineous marriages. Most mothers took the prescribed pregnancy supplements. Only one-third of the families received health education and reported other incidences of OFCs. Twenty percent of the patients had other congenital anomalies, 80% experienced dysphagia prior to the cleft repair, dropped to 14% after the repair. Higher percentage of patients with isolated cleft palate and cleft lip and palate exhibited hearing loss, hypernasality, articulation and phonological disorders, and dysphagia compared with those with cleft lip only. None of the demographic variables was associated with OFC type.


Data suggested that families who had children with OFCs displayed poor socioeconomic status and low educational level which may impede the delivery of health education by health practitioners. Increased risk of comorbid communication disorders and malformations in OFC patients must be emphasized and disseminated to health professionals involved in the management of patients with OFC.

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