The team has also supervised higher degrees (MSc and PhD) and continues to do so. Team members have established systems for measurement of outcomes of speech and facial bone growth in cleft patients and have also contributed to cleft research overseas.
Current interests include:
A project is underway at the moment, led by Lizzy McDowell in clinical psychology and her colleagues, examining the patient experience of inpatient treatment for adolescents and young people.
The team regularly publishes outcomes of new techniques. A recently completed study, by Greet Hens and co-workers, looked at the outcome of an operation using cheek tissue to lengthen the palate for those children whose palates are too short. The paper on this technique, known as buccinator flaps, is submitted.
The service is also looking at new methods of monitoring surgical outcomes, currently published on our clinical outcomes page, showing the cumulative sum graph of outcomes for patients with isolated cleft palate.
A detailed analysis of this data looking at the risk factors leading to poorer outcome is being studied as a paper led by Duncan Atherton and co-workers.
Children with cleft may require surgery on their facial bones known as an osteotomy. However, this may cause their speech to deteriorate. Valerie Pereira and co-workers are looking at the factors leading to poorer outcome in patients undergoing osteotomy. This work is also part of a PhD.
We also have a basic science study looking at reasons why some children have poor palate movement causing poor speech. The study is looking at palate anatomy, anatomy and physiology and genetics. Leila Rees is the principal worker.
Growth charts for Sri Lanka
Our growth charts were conducted jointly with the University of Ruhuna, Southern Sri Lanka, under the banner of GOSH cleft services, as part of the Sri Lanka Cleft Lip and Palate Project. They comprise height, weight, body mass index and head circumference seven centile charts designed for use by professionals who wish to compare individuals with the local peer group, not only with an optimally grown International reference population. Two age spans are available, birth to five years and birth to 25 years.
We also have 22q11 deletion syndrome growth charts, which provide more information about the condition.
For more information visit the Max Appeal charity website.