Author(s): Konst EM, Prahl C, WeersinkBraks H, De Boo T, PrahlAndersen B, , Konst EM, Prahl C, WeersinkBraks H, De Boo T, PrahlAndersen B,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To investigate the cost-effectiveness of infant orthopedic treatment (IO), compared with no such treatment in children with complete unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP) focusing on the effects on speech development at age 2.5 years. DESIGN: In a three-center prospective, randomized clinical trial (Dutchcleft), two groups of children with complete UCLP were followed longitudinally: one group was treated with IO based on a modified Zurich approach in the first year of life (IO group) and the other group did not receive this treatment (non-IO group). PATIENTS: The participants had complete UCLP without soft tissue bands or other malformations. They were born at term and their parents were native Dutch speakers. OUTCOME MEASURES: The effect of IO on speech development at age 2.5 years was measured blindly by five expert listeners judging the "total impression of speech quality" on a 10-point equal-appearing interval scale. Costs were measured from a societal viewpoint in Euro. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: The IO group (n = 10) obtained a statistically significant higher rating, compared with the non-IO group (n = 10). The effect size was large, indicating that the improvement may be considered a clinically important change. The cost for treatment by the orthodontist was higher in the IO group. For both groups, the mean cost was related to the mean rating for "total impression of speech quality." The resulting cost-effectiveness for IO, compared to non-IO was 1041 for 1.34 point speech quality improvement. The financial investment that is necessary to obtain this improvement seems limited. Thus, from the perspective of speech development, the cost-effectiveness of IO over non-IO seems acceptable at this point in time.
This article was published in Cleft Palate Craniofac J
and referenced in Journal of Surgery