Assessment scale of the oral motor performance of children and adolescents with neurological damages

J Oral Rehabil. 2009 Sep;36(9):653-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2842.2009.01979.x. Epub 2009 Jul 15.


Among the conditions that classify individuals as special needs patients are those resulting from neurological sequelae, particularly cerebral palsy (CP), which is a disorder of high prevalence. Innumerable alterations can be found in individuals with CP but the inability to control striated muscles, due to damages suffered by the central nervous system, should be emphasized. Changes in tonus, speed and strength of oral muscles, reduction of mandibular mobility amplitude and difficulty to passively seal the lips are characteristics observed in such individuals. Categorization of the individual's mastication pattern is important in order to establish diagnosis and treatment protocols and prognosis. The aim of this study was to develop an Oral Motor Assessment Scale (OMAS) and evaluate its performance in terms of construct validity and reliability in a cohort of 53 children and individuals with CP. Two dentists examined the same patients on two different occasions. Good interexaminer (kappa > 0.85) and intra-examiner (kappa > 0.90) agreement was obtained for the majority of the OMAS items. This study shows that the OMAS is an accurate and valid method of assessment of oral motor skills in children and adolescents with neurological damages.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Deglutition Disorders / classification
  • Deglutition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Facial Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Nervous System Diseases / classification
  • Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Observer Variation