Research  |   November 2009
Evidence-Based Systematic Review: Effects of Nonspeech Oral Motor Exercises on Speech
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rebecca J. McCauley
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Edythe Strand
    Mayo Clinic and Mayo College of Medicine, Rochester, MN
  • Gregory L. Lof
    MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston
  • Tobi Frymark
    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Rockville, MD
  • Contact author: Tracy Schooling, National Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Communication Disorders, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #245, Rockville, MD 20850-3289. E-mail: tschooling@asha.org.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Speech, Voice & Prosody
Research   |   November 2009
Evidence-Based Systematic Review: Effects of Nonspeech Oral Motor Exercises on Speech
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2009, Vol. 18, 343-360. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2009/09-0006)
History: Received January 21, 2009 , Accepted May 8, 2009
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2009, Vol. 18, 343-360. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2009/09-0006)
History: Received January 21, 2009; Accepted May 8, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 13

Purpose: The purpose of this systematic review was to examine the current evidence for the use of oral motor exercises (OMEs) on speech (i.e., speech physiology, speech production, and functional speech outcomes) as a means of supporting further research and clinicians' use of evidence-based practice.

Method: The peer-reviewed literature from 1960 to 2007 was searched for articles examining the use of OMEs to affect speech physiology, production, or functional outcomes (i.e., intelligibility). Articles that met selection criteria were appraised by 2 reviewers and vetted by a 3rd for methodological quality, then characterized as efficacy or exploratory studies.

Results: Fifteen studies met inclusion criteria; of these, 8 included data relevant to the effects of OMEs on speech physiology, 8 on speech production, and 8 on functional speech outcomes. Considerable variation was noted in the participants, interventions, and treatment schedules. The critical appraisals identified significant weaknesses in almost all studies.

Conclusions: Insufficient evidence to support or refute the use of OMEs to produce effects on speech was found in the research literature. Discussion is largely confined to a consideration of the need for more well-designed studies using well-described participant groups and alternative bases for evidence-based practice.

Acknowledgments
This evidence-based review was supported by ASHA’s N-CEP. We thank the following individuals who participated in the evidence panel to review the state of the evidence on nonspeech oral motor exercise: Dr. Joan Arvedson, Dr. Heather Clark, and Dr. Cathy Lazarus. We also thank the following individuals who contributed to the preparation of this document: Beverly Wang, N-CEP Information Manager; Hillary Leech, N-CEP Research Assistant; and Rob Mullen, N-CEP Director.
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