Cleft lip and palate – baby plates | Children's Charity

Cleft lip and palate – baby plates

This research was completed on 1 March 2003

Project LeaderMiss A G Masarei BAppSc, MRCSLT, Mr B C Sommerlad, FRCS, Dr D Sell, PhD, Dr M Mars, DSc, PhD, FDS and Dr A M Wade, PhD, CStat.
LocationSpeech and Language Therapy Department and the Maxillo-Facial and Dental Department, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust in conjunction with the Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit, Institute of Child Health, London.
Grant awarded1 August 2001
Start date1 April 2002
End date1 March 2003
Grant amount£40,162.00
Grant codeSP3757

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Cleft lip and/or palate affects 1 in 700 babies. Surgical repair of these clefts normally takes place during the first year of life. Some doctors recommend the use of “baby plates” fitted inside the mouth before surgery as they are said to improve feeding and facial growth, and to facilitate surgery and speech development. However, no scientific evidence exists to justify these claims. This team is investigating whether baby plates really help feeding and speech development in children with cleft lip and/or palate. Babies are randomly allocated at birth, either to a treatment group (with baby plate) or to a non-treatment group (no baby plate) and then assessed for progress at intervals up to the age of 2 years. The project has been underway for 2½ years and this extension will enable recruitment to continue, ensuring the study is large enough to identify whether or not there are benefits from “baby plates”.
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