Objectives: A healthy determination of orofacial findings of children with cerebral palsy is important as this will lead us to utilize perfect multidisciplinary therapies of orofacial dysfunctions (OFD). Nordic Orofacial Test-Screening (NOT-S) is a comprehensive screening method of OFD which consists of a structured interview and clinical examination. The aim of our study was to evaluate the orofacial dysfunctions in a group of Turkish children with cerebral palsy using Nordic Orofacial Test-Screening (NOT-S) and find out the factors associated with OFD comparatively with a healthy group.
Materials and methods: NOT-S was applied to 84 children aged 3-16 years. Forty-two children with cerebral palsy were included in the study group and 42 healthy children were randomly selected for the control group. Two trained and calibrated examiners who were experienced on NOT-S interview and examination of the validity and reliability of the Turkish version performed screening and interpreted the results.
Results: NOT-S interview and clinical examination subscale scores of children with cerebral palsy were higher and found to be statistically significant (Mann-Whitney U test; p < 0.001). The total scale score of the cerebral palsy group was also statistically significant (p < 0.001). The most common dysfunctions were in the facial expression area (55.9%) and in the chewing and swallowing area (52.4%) following in sensory function area (47.6%).
Conclusions: The results of this study indicated that the NOT-S protocol was an effective and valuable tool for the comprehensive screening of orofacial dysfunctions in a group of Turkish children with cerebral palsy.
Keywords: Cerebral palsy; Nordic orofacial test-screening; Orofacial dysfunction.