The scientific knowledge base for treatment of patients with cleft lip, alveolus and palate( 17.12.2009 )
1-page key messages
In this review we present the evidence base for the effectiveness of interventions in treatment and follow-up of patients with cleft lip, alveolus and/or palate. We searched for systematic reviews and prospective primary studies with a simultaneous control group.
We found no scientific studies that met the inclusion criteria for the themes examination of or composition, duration and intensity of treatment for patients with cleft lip, alveolus and/or cleft palate. We did not identifiy any studies of measures that satisfied our design requirements for patients with velocardiofacial syndrome. We included 1 systematic review and 46 primary studies within the categories treatment and follow-up. Of these 39 studies were classifieds as treatment (mostly surgery and surgery-related measures) and 1 systematic review and 7 primary studies as follow-up (feeding, speech and otitis media).
The quality of the evidence of the results of different forms of presurgical orthopaedics, lip-alveolus-palate closure and of correction of nasal septal deformity is too low to draw any conclusions. For secondary surgical procedures pharyngeal flap may be similar to sphincterplasty for velopharyngeal insufficiency, but the evidence for this is of low quality. For the other five comparisons of measures within secondary surgery, the quality of the evidence is too low to draw any conclusions. The results from the comparisons of interventions within orthodontics, speech training, otitis media and feeding methods are also too uncertain to draw any conclusions.
The evidence base for current practice in treatment and follow-up of children and adults with cleft lip, alveolus and/or palate is low or very low. This does not mean that current practice is poor. It means that existing research is too uncertain to provide good evidence for conclusions about the relative effectiveness of different interventions, sequencing and optimal times for cleft lip and palate surgery, of effectiveness of interventions for maxillary protraction and of the different follow-up and habilitation interventions.