Velopharyngeal Insufficiency on Quality of Life of Adults with Repaired Cleft Palate in Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi City County, Kenya By
Bundi, Irene Gatwiri
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Cleft palate is one of the most prevalent birth defects that impacts on the quality of life of both children and adults around the world. It is estimated that 10%-20% of patients with cleft palate will present with Velopharyngeal Insufficiency (VPI) residual post palatal repair. This study evaluated the effects of VPI on the quality of life among adults with repaired cleft palate in order to: to establish the effect of VPI on social interaction, and functional ability; determine the level of accessibility/availability of speech therapy and counseling services; and to also determine the role of speech therapy on communication of these patients. The study was guided by the Self-Verification Theory. The study targeted adults, both males and females with repaired cleft palate at Kenyatta Hospital, Nairobi City County. The study adopted a case study research design. 22 adults with repaired cleft palate, 2 maxillofacial surgeons and 1 speech and language therapist were purposively sampled for the study. Stratified random sampling was used to avoid gender bias. The pilot study was carried out at Kijabe Hospital. The data was collected using questionnaires, and interviews. The data was analyzed with the use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 21 for quantitative data. Categorical data was summarized using frequency tables and proportions. The study found out that VPI had significantly negative effects on different aspects of life of adults with repaired cleft palate; there was lower level of social interaction and functional ability due to challenges with speech production and perception, and low level of accessibility of speech therapy and counseling services. The study recommends that Hospitals should consider adopting speech therapy as a significant healthcare delivery section that will emphasize on improving the wellbeing of patients who need speech therapy and multidisciplinary team, i.e., maxillofacial surgeons, plastic surgeons, orthodontists, in understanding the quality of life for patients undergoing treatment at the facility, hence creation of better protocols in management of these patients.