Prevalence of orofacial dysfunction in cerebral palsy and its association with gross motor function and manual ability

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2016 Apr;58(4):385-94. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.12867. Epub 2015 Sep 10.


Aim: To investigate the prevalence of orofacial dysfunction (OFD) and explore factors associated with OFD in young individuals with cerebral palsy (CP).

Method: We conducted a cross-sectional study on a population with CP in a Swedish county (132 individuals, mean age 14y 2mo [SD 4y 5mo], range 5-22y) using the Nordic Orofacial Test - Screening (NOT-S), Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS), and Manual Ability Classification System (MACS). The NOT-S interview was completed by 129 individuals (76 males, 53 females) of whom 52 (30 males, 22 females) also agreed to complete the NOT-S examination.

Results: OFD occurred in at least one NOT-S domain in about 80% of the individuals and was present in all subdiagnoses, GMFCS levels, and MACS levels. Prevalence of OFD increased with increasing levels of GMFCS and MACS from level I=55% to level V=100%. Within the 12 NOT-S domains, the prevalence of OFD varied between 19% and 69%, wherein seven of them were at least 40%: 'Drooling', 'Nose breathing', 'Chewing and swallowing', 'Face at rest', 'Oral motor function', 'Speech', and 'Facial expression' (in ascending order).

Interpretation: OFD is common in CP. The use of OFD screening in health service planning would assist detection of areas in need of further evaluation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications
  • Cerebral Palsy / epidemiology*
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Movement Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Movement Disorders / etiology
  • Movement Disorders / physiopathology
  • Prevalence
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Young Adult