SonoSpeech cleft pilot: a pilot randomised control trial of ultrasound visual biofeedback versus standard intervention for children with cleft lip and palate

Joanne Cleland, Lisa Crampin, Linsay Campbell, Marie Dokovova

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Background Children with cleft lip and palate often have speech production and intelligibility difficulties that may affect their educational outcomes (Grewal et al. 2021). Speech therapy treatment usually involves articulatory intervention, which teaches the child the correct position and movement of their articulators. This type of intervention may be challenging as large portions of the articulators are hidden from view and may be hard to describe. Recent ultrasound tongue imaging studies have shown promising results but only one study has focused on children with cleft lip and palate (Roxburgh et al. 2016). Aim This pilot randomised control trial will assess the feasibility of running a large-scale randomised control trial comparing a new treatment, speech therapy involving ultrasound visual biofeedback, to traditional articulatory therapy for children with cleft lip and palate. The study aims to determine the recruitment, attrition, and outcome measure completion rates, as well as the acceptability of the new treatment and of randomisation to the children and their families. Methods Forty children, aged 4;6-16, will be randomised to either 6 sessions of ultrasound intervention or articulatory intervention, stratified by age. Their percentage of correct consonants will be measured by assessors blind to their treatment groups, based on auditory recordings, taken before, during, and after treatment. Patient reported outcome measures on quality of life and experience of service will also be used. Results The study is in its recruitment stage and preliminary results will be presented at the conference, including case studies of children in both groups. Conclusions Ultrasound visual biofeedback is a potentially useful tool in speech sound therapy of children with cleft lip and palate and more research in required to test its effectiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 13 Jan 2022
Event11th European Congress of Speech and Language Therapy - Salzburg, Austria
Duration: 26 May 202228 May 2022
Conference number: 11


Conference11th European Congress of Speech and Language Therapy
Abbreviated titleESLA 2022
OtherNew frontiers in speech and language therapy: advancing practice, research and education.
Internet address


  • cleft lip and palate
  • ultrasound visual biofeedback
  • articulatory therapy
  • speech therapy

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