Evidence-Based Systematic Review: Effects of Nonspeech Oral Motor Exercises on Speech 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 ... Research
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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.
  • © 2009 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
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: 19

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.

In 2005, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA’s) National Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Communication Disorders (N-CEP) initiated a number of evidence-based systematic reviews (EBSRs) in the area of communication sciences and disorders. Topics were selected based on their perceived importance and usefulness to speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and audiologists through a Knowledge-Attitudes-Practices Survey (Mullen, 2005). As part of that survey, ASHA members were asked to identify specific clinical areas about which they wanted more evidence or a better understanding of the current evidence. Results from that survey revealed oral motor exercises (OMEs) as one of the most frequently identified topics of interest for SLPs.
Recent surveys of practicing SLPs in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain (Hodge, Salonka, & Kollias, 2005; Joffe & Pring, 2008; Lof & Watson, 2008) suggest that OMEs are widely used. In fact, a considerable majority of survey respondents (>70% in each of these three surveys) reported that they made use of them in their practice. Rationales shared by SLPs in the two North American surveys included the achievement of improved speech production, increased awareness of the articulators, and strengthening.
Despite the popularity of OMEs, however, their probable value has been seriously questioned (e.g., Lof & Watson, 2008). Criticisms have typically cited a lack of supportive evidence and problems with identified rationales (Clark, in press; Forrest, 2002). In particular, rationales have been questioned in terms of their relevance for a particular population (e.g., the use of strengthening exercises if strength is not an underlying problem) and the likelihood that methods used to implement them will be effective (e.g., the use of strengthening exercises that seem unlikely to tax, and therefore to strengthen, targeted muscles). Nonetheless, a number of critics also suggest that given their widespread use and the potential value of selected OMEs for specific purposes, vigorous investigation of OMEs is warranted.
Because of the absence of systematic reviews on the effectiveness of OMEs (at the conception of this series), the documented interest by clinicians in OMEs (Mullen, 2005), and controversies about their use with a variety of populations (e.g., Hodge et al., 2005; Lof & Watson, 2008), a systematic review on this topic was considered timely. Systematic reviews are one of the highest forms of evidence for answering clinical questions (Dollaghan, 2007; McCauley & Hargrove, 2004). EBSRs represent an emerging research methodology designed to reduce bias and promote transparency in the synthesis of evidence for research and clinical purposes (Guyatt & Rennie, 2002), such as is needed for OMEs. As part of EBSR methodology, multiple reviewers follow thoroughly prescribed procedures that include operationally defined criteria and the examination of interreviewer agreement to identify and assess the scientific literature; their results offer the current best available evidence on a particular intervention or diagnostic procedure under investigation.
Systematic reviews free individual clinicians and researchers from finding, evaluating, summarizing, and synthesizing research articles spanning numerous years and journals. Further, such reviews reduce the likelihood that these same individuals will need to contend with the inconsistencies and probable errors resulting from the informal and usually undocumented process typifying most narrative reviews (McCauley & Hargrove, 2004). Thus, while no more immune from criticism than any other research method (Ylvisaker et al., 2002), EBSRs offer clear-cut bases on which proponents can defend (and critics attack) their conclusions. Depending on the maturity of research in a clinical area, EBSRs can serve as a starting point for clinicians and researchers who are interested in obtaining a thorough, if imperfect, sense of (a) what research has been done to support decision making in a given area of clinical practice, (b) how rigorous that research has been, and (c) what further research needs to be conducted.
The purpose of this review was to examine the current state of evidence for the use of OMEs in speech treatment. OMEs were operationally defined as nonspeech activities that involve sensory stimulation to or actions of the lips, jaw, tongue, soft palate, larynx, and respiratory muscles that are intended to influence the physiological underpinnings of the oropharyngeal mechanism to improve its functions. They may include activities described as active muscle exercise, muscle stretching, passive exercise, or sensory stimulation. This EBSR is part of a series of reviews investigating the use of OMEs across all aspects of SLP treatment (i.e., speech and swallowing). This article focused solely on the impact of OMEs on speech; in particular, it focused on three clinical questions concerning outcomes commonly addressed in clinical practice:
  1. What is the influence of OMEs on speech physiology (e.g., acoustic, kinematic, and articulatory placement)?

  2. What is the influence of OMEs on speech production (i.e., perceptual accuracy)?

  3. What is the influence of OMEs on functional speech outcomes, where functional speech outcomes were measures addressing the impact of the speech production errors on communication (i.e., intelligibility)?

For an EBSR examining the use of OMEs (specifically neuromuscular electrical stimulation) on swallowing, see Clark, Lazarus, Arvedson, Schooling, and Frymark (2009) .
Method
A systematic search of the literature was conducted starting in December 2006 and continuing through September 2007. Studies were initially considered for the review if they were published in a peer-reviewed journal from 1960 to 2007, were written in English, and contained original data addressing one or more of the clinical questions included in this series of EBSRs. Studies that included surgical, medical, or pharmacological treatment or studies using liquid or food as part of the intervention were excluded. Additionally, studies that incorporated mixed treatments that were not controlled for within the research design (e.g., studies examining speech treatment paired with oral motor treatment without a speech treatment–only control group) were excluded because they did not allow for an examination of the influence of OME. Twenty-one electronic databases and other sources were searched using a total of 71 expanded key words related to OMEs, swallowing, and speech therapy. The following electronic databases were searched: Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, Communication & Mass Media Complete, EMBASE, ERIC, Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines, Health Source: Nursing, HighWire Press, National Electronic Library for Health, PsycArticles, PsycINFO, PubMed, REHABDATA, Science Citation Index, ScienceDirect, Social Science Citation Index, SUMSearch, TRIP Database, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. An electronic search of the ASHA journals and of Google Scholar as well as a manual search of references from all relevant articles were also completed.
As displayed in Figure 1, a total of 899 citations were identified as part of the broader search examining OMEs in speech and swallowing treatment. Two N-CEP reviewers (the fourth and fifth authors), blinded from one another’s results, reviewed each abstract and initially identified 346 citations as preliminarily meeting the inclusion criteria with 91% agreement. Of those, 250 were subsequently excluded by these two reviewers because they did not directly address one or more of the larger set of clinical questions or report original data. A total of 96 studies were identified for inclusion in this series of EBSRs. Of these, 15 studies addressed one or more of the three clinical questions related specifically to speech for final inclusion in this review.
FIGURE 1

Process for identification of included studies.

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FIGURE 1

Process for identification of included studies.

×
The fourth and fifth authors, still blinded to one another’s results, assessed the 15 studies for methodological quality in the following areas: study design, assessor blinding, sampling/allocation, subject comparability/description, outcomes, significance, precision, and intention-to-treat (when applicable; Dollaghan, 2007). Each study received a point for each marker meeting the highest level of quality (see Table 1), and a final score was derived from the total number of indicators that met the highest level of quality. For studies incorporating randomized controlled trials (i.e., studies in which participants were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group), all eight quality indicators were relevant, leading to a maximum quality score of 8. For all other study designs, for which an intention-to-treat analysis was not applicable, the highest quality score was 7. An intention-to-treat analysis of a randomized controlled trial ensures that participants are analyzed according to the group to which they were initially randomly allocated, regardless of whether they dropped out, fully complied with the treatment, or crossed over and received the other treatment (ASHA, 2008). Such analyses are intended to help the study provide information about the quality of the decision to use a particular treatment prior to any treatment having occurred—the same conditions under which such decisions are made clinically (Fletcher & Fletcher, 2005).
TABLE 1Quality indicators.
Quality indicators.×
IndicatorQuality marker
Study design• Controlled trial
• Cohort study
• Retrospective case control or single-subject design
• Case series
• Case study
Blinding• Assessors blinded
• Assessors not blinded or not stated
Sampling/allocation• Random sample adequately described
• Random sample inadequately described
• Convenience sample adequately described
• Convenience sample inadequately described or hand-picked sample or not stated
Group/participant comparability• Groups/participants comparable at baseline on important factors (between-subjects design) or participant(s) adequately described (within-subjects design)
• Groups/participants not comparable at baseline or comparability not reported or participant(s) not adequately described
Outcomes• At least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliable.
• Validity is unknown but appears reasonable; measure is reliable.
• Invalid and/or unreliable
SignificanceP value reported or calculable
P value neither reported nor calculable
Precision• Effect size and confidence interval reported or calculable
• Effect size or confidence interval, but not both, reported or calculable
• Neither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculable
Intention-to-treat (controlled trials only)• Analyzed by intention-to-treat
• Not analyzed by intention-to-treat or not stated
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality marker.
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality marker.×
TABLE 1Quality indicators.
Quality indicators.×
IndicatorQuality marker
Study design• Controlled trial
• Cohort study
• Retrospective case control or single-subject design
• Case series
• Case study
Blinding• Assessors blinded
• Assessors not blinded or not stated
Sampling/allocation• Random sample adequately described
• Random sample inadequately described
• Convenience sample adequately described
• Convenience sample inadequately described or hand-picked sample or not stated
Group/participant comparability• Groups/participants comparable at baseline on important factors (between-subjects design) or participant(s) adequately described (within-subjects design)
• Groups/participants not comparable at baseline or comparability not reported or participant(s) not adequately described
Outcomes• At least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliable.
• Validity is unknown but appears reasonable; measure is reliable.
• Invalid and/or unreliable
SignificanceP value reported or calculable
P value neither reported nor calculable
Precision• Effect size and confidence interval reported or calculable
• Effect size or confidence interval, but not both, reported or calculable
• Neither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculable
Intention-to-treat (controlled trials only)• Analyzed by intention-to-treat
• Not analyzed by intention-to-treat or not stated
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality marker.
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality marker.×
×
Each critical appraisal was reviewed and vetted by at least one member of the three-member evidence panel (i.e., the first three authors) who also completed the data extraction (i.e., participant description, intervention provided, treatment schedule, etc.) for the study. Agreement between the N-CEP and panel reviewers was greater than 98%, and any discrepancies in ratings were resolved via consensus among the full author panel. Along with assessing methodological rigor, each study was also characterized as efficacy or exploratory research. To be considered efficacy research, a study had to incorporate an experimental or quasi-experimental design, be conducted on a disordered population, and examine the effects of OMEs as a treatment and not just a condition in which speech or swallowing skills were examined. The remaining studies not meeting those three criteria (i.e., studies with nonexperimental designs, studies conducted on nondisordered populations, or studies using OMEs as a condition to examine speech or swallowing abilities instead of as an intervention) were classified as exploratory research. A final synthesis of the body of scientific literature was reported based on clinical question and corresponding research category.
For efficacy studies, detailed information regarding participants, treatment characteristics, and individual scores for each quality indicator were given. For exploratory studies, a study summary and an overall quality score were reported. Effect sizes and confidence intervals were calculated for outcome measures from efficacy studies whenever possible. Effect sizes are point estimates that indicate the importance of a finding, rather than the likelihood that the observed effect was due to chance or sampling error (which is the meaning of statistical significance). Confidence intervals provide an estimation of the precision of that point estimate. In other words, measures of effect size are designed to indicate the degree to which a null hypothesis is false, and the corresponding confidence interval provides a range in which the true value of the effect size is most likely to occur (Dollaghan, 2007). For group studies, Cohen’s d was calculated from group means and standard deviations or estimated from results of analyses of variance or t tests. Although the magnitude of effect sizes was reported using Cohen’s benchmarks for small, medium, and large as 0.2, 0.5, and 0.8, respectively (Cohen, 1988), confidence intervals surrounding these effect sizes should be considered when interpreting these results.
Results
Of the 15 studies that met the inclusion criteria, 8 addressed the effects of OMEs on speech physiology (Question 1), 8 addressed sound production (Question 2), and 5 addressed functional speech outcomes (Question 3). This total exceeds 15 because several studies addressed more than one of the clinical questions.
Clinical Question 1: What Is the Influence of OMEs on Speech Physiology?
Of the eight studies reporting data related to OMEs and speech physiology outcomes, five met the criteria for efficacy studies, and three met criteria for exploratory studies.
Efficacy Studies
Table 2 provides a detailed description of the interventions and participants reported in the efficacy studies. The five studies incorporated a wide range of participants, interventions, and treatment schedules. Christensen and Hanson (1981)  examined the effectiveness of OMEs (specifically tongue thrust treatment with neuromuscular facilitation techniques) combined with articulation treatment relative to articulation treatment only in treating first graders with a severe tongue thrust. Another study (Korbmacher, Schwan, Berndsen, Bull, & Kahl-Nieke, 2004) focused on children with multiple orofacial dysfunctions and compared two different OME programs for tongue thrusting (i.e., traditional myofunctional treatment and an orofacial exercise program incorporating a training device called a “face former”). The three remaining studies (Backman, Grever-Sjolander, Holm, & Johansson, 2003; Carlstedt, Henningsson, & Dahllof, 2003; Carlstedt, Henningsson, McAllister, & Dahllof, 2001) compared the use of oral stimulating plates and OMEs (i.e., oral motor and sensory stimulation or SLP-designed physiotherapy program) with OMEs alone in young children with Down syndrome. Amount, duration, and intensity of treatment varied greatly among studies. Duration of treatment ranged from 14 weeks to 58 months across studies, and frequency of intervention ranged from once a week to three times per day. For all but one of the studies (Christensen & Hanson, 1981), the treatment schedules for the control groups were not stated.
TABLE 2Participant and treatment characteristics—speech physiology efficacy studies (Question 1).
Participant and treatment characteristics—speech physiology efficacy studies (Question 1).×
CitationNAgeGenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceEffect size (95% confidence interval)Quality marker score
Backman et al. (2003) 10615–22 months; M = 18.3 months60 M, 46 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulating plates and oral motor sensory stimulationPlates worn 2–3 times per day for periods of 5–30 minSLP perception of motor prerequisites for articulation.NRNR1/8
Control group 1 (age-matched nondisordered)—no treatmentControl group—not reported
Control group 2—oral motor and sensory stimulation
Carlstedt et al. (2001) 203–33 months12 M, 8 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulating plate therapy plus physiotherapy program designed by SLPPlates worn for 1 hr 2–3 times per day for a minimum of 4 years (range = 49–58 months)Clinical examination of lip rounding during speechp < .01NR5/8
Control group—physiotherapy program designed by SLPControl group—not reportedVideo registration of percentage of tongue protrusion during speechNS0.25 (−0.65–1.12)
Carlstedt et al. (2003) 203–33 months12 M, 8 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulating plate therapy plus physiotherapy program designed by SLPPlates worn for 1 hr 2–3 times per day for a minimum of 4 years (range = 49–58 months)Clinical examination of articulatory placementNSNR2/8
Control group—physiotherapy program designed by SLPControl group—not reported
Christensen and Hanson (1981) 105;8 (years;months)–6;9; M = 6;26 M, 4 FSevere anterior tongue thrust and acoustically severe frontal lispIntervention group—tongue thrust treatment incorporating neuromuscular facilitation techniques for first 6 weeks followed by alternating sessions of tongue thrust and articulation treatment for the next 8 weeks.All participants (both intervention and control group) received a total of 22 individual ½-hr treatment sessions. Therapy was provided once a week for 6 weeks followed by twice a week for 8 weeks.Tongue tip placement on lingua-alveolar soundsNS0.34 (−0.94–1.56)6/8
Control group—traditional articulation treatment
Korbmacher et al. (2004) 453;11–16;11; M = 8;432 M, 13 FMultiple untreated orofacial dysfunctionsIntervention group—face former therapy, which consisted of a series of lip and tongue exercises with a flexible silicone training deviceBoth groups were followed for 6 months.SLP examination of movement patterns during production of alveolar sounds.NSNR4/8
Control group—conventional myofunctional therapyIntervention group performed 20 repetitions of the exercises 3 times per day. After 3 weeks, the training device was worn overnight.
Control group—not reported
Note. SLP = speech-language pathologist; NR = not reported or calculable; NS = not significant.
Note. SLP = speech-language pathologist; NR = not reported or calculable; NS = not significant.×
TABLE 2Participant and treatment characteristics—speech physiology efficacy studies (Question 1).
Participant and treatment characteristics—speech physiology efficacy studies (Question 1).×
CitationNAgeGenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceEffect size (95% confidence interval)Quality marker score
Backman et al. (2003) 10615–22 months; M = 18.3 months60 M, 46 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulating plates and oral motor sensory stimulationPlates worn 2–3 times per day for periods of 5–30 minSLP perception of motor prerequisites for articulation.NRNR1/8
Control group 1 (age-matched nondisordered)—no treatmentControl group—not reported
Control group 2—oral motor and sensory stimulation
Carlstedt et al. (2001) 203–33 months12 M, 8 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulating plate therapy plus physiotherapy program designed by SLPPlates worn for 1 hr 2–3 times per day for a minimum of 4 years (range = 49–58 months)Clinical examination of lip rounding during speechp < .01NR5/8
Control group—physiotherapy program designed by SLPControl group—not reportedVideo registration of percentage of tongue protrusion during speechNS0.25 (−0.65–1.12)
Carlstedt et al. (2003) 203–33 months12 M, 8 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulating plate therapy plus physiotherapy program designed by SLPPlates worn for 1 hr 2–3 times per day for a minimum of 4 years (range = 49–58 months)Clinical examination of articulatory placementNSNR2/8
Control group—physiotherapy program designed by SLPControl group—not reported
Christensen and Hanson (1981) 105;8 (years;months)–6;9; M = 6;26 M, 4 FSevere anterior tongue thrust and acoustically severe frontal lispIntervention group—tongue thrust treatment incorporating neuromuscular facilitation techniques for first 6 weeks followed by alternating sessions of tongue thrust and articulation treatment for the next 8 weeks.All participants (both intervention and control group) received a total of 22 individual ½-hr treatment sessions. Therapy was provided once a week for 6 weeks followed by twice a week for 8 weeks.Tongue tip placement on lingua-alveolar soundsNS0.34 (−0.94–1.56)6/8
Control group—traditional articulation treatment
Korbmacher et al. (2004) 453;11–16;11; M = 8;432 M, 13 FMultiple untreated orofacial dysfunctionsIntervention group—face former therapy, which consisted of a series of lip and tongue exercises with a flexible silicone training deviceBoth groups were followed for 6 months.SLP examination of movement patterns during production of alveolar sounds.NSNR4/8
Control group—conventional myofunctional therapyIntervention group performed 20 repetitions of the exercises 3 times per day. After 3 weeks, the training device was worn overnight.
Control group—not reported
Note. SLP = speech-language pathologist; NR = not reported or calculable; NS = not significant.
Note. SLP = speech-language pathologist; NR = not reported or calculable; NS = not significant.×
×
Table 3 summarizes the quality marker ratings for each study. All five studies were controlled trials, and most (four) reported data in a manner in which statistical significance was calculable. However, the studies achieved poor quality marker ratings for the following areas: sampling/allocation, blinding, and intention-to-treat. Specifically, description of the comparability between groups was adequately reported in only one study (Korbmacher et al., 2004), and analysis of data by an intention-to-treat protocol was noted in only one study (Christensen & Hanson, 1981). In addition, the blinding of the assessors to the treatment condition was indicated in only two studies (Christensen & Hanson; Korbmacher et al.).
TABLE 3Appraisal summary of speech physiology efficacy studies (Question 1).
Appraisal summary of speech physiology efficacy studies (Question 1).×
CitationStudy designBlindingAllocationSubjectsOutcomesSignificancePrecisionIntention-to-treat
Backman et al. (2003) Controlled trialNot statedConvenience sample/hand-picked sampleComparability not reportedInvalid and/or unreliableP value neither reported nor calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot stated
Carlstedt et al. (2001) Controlled trialAssessors not blindedRandom sample adequately describedComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableNot stated
Carlstedt et al. (2003) Controlled trialAssessors not blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedValidity unknown but appears reasonable; reliablePvalue reported or calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot stated
Christensen and Hanson (1981) Controlled trialAssessors blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableAnalyzed by intention-to-treat
Korbmacher et al. (2004) Controlled trialAssessors blindedRandom sample inadequately describedGroups comparable at baseline on important factors (between-subjects design)Invalid and/or unreliablePvalue reported or calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot analyzed by intention-to-treat
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.×
TABLE 3Appraisal summary of speech physiology efficacy studies (Question 1).
Appraisal summary of speech physiology efficacy studies (Question 1).×
CitationStudy designBlindingAllocationSubjectsOutcomesSignificancePrecisionIntention-to-treat
Backman et al. (2003) Controlled trialNot statedConvenience sample/hand-picked sampleComparability not reportedInvalid and/or unreliableP value neither reported nor calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot stated
Carlstedt et al. (2001) Controlled trialAssessors not blindedRandom sample adequately describedComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableNot stated
Carlstedt et al. (2003) Controlled trialAssessors not blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedValidity unknown but appears reasonable; reliablePvalue reported or calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot stated
Christensen and Hanson (1981) Controlled trialAssessors blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableAnalyzed by intention-to-treat
Korbmacher et al. (2004) Controlled trialAssessors blindedRandom sample inadequately describedGroups comparable at baseline on important factors (between-subjects design)Invalid and/or unreliablePvalue reported or calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot analyzed by intention-to-treat
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.×
×
Two of the studies provided sufficient information and used measures of speech physiology for which treatment effect sizes were calculable. In Christensen and Hanson (1981), OMEs plus articulation treatment had a small positive effect (d = 0.34) over articulation treatment alone in tongue tip placement on lingua-alveolar sounds. Carlstedt et al. (2001)  also reported a small positive effect (d = 0.25) of oral stimulating plates in addition to OMEs over OMEs alone for one dependent variable—percentage of tongue protrusion during speech. The OMEs group showed significant improvement on another dependent variable, clinical examination of lip rounding during speech; however, an effect size was not reported or calculable. Three other studies provided further evidence on the effects of OMEs, although effect sizes were not reported or calculable. Two studies (Carlstedt et al., 2003; Korbmacher et al., 2004) reported no significant changes in speech physiology outcomes following OMEs, and one study (Backman et al., 2003) did not provide sufficient data to analyze the findings statistically.
Exploratory Studies
The three exploratory studies examined the use of orofacial myofunctional therapy and orofacial physiotherapy, primarily in participants with lip and tongue dyskinesias, and some with cerebral palsy or dysarthria secondary to right hemisphere brain damage (see Appendix A). However, they were not considered efficacy studies because none used an experimental or quasi-experimental design. Two studies reported no changes (Ray, 2001, 2002), and one study reported positive changes (Daglio, Schwitzer, Wuthrich, & Kallivroussis, 1993) in speech physiology subsequent to OME. None of the studies, however, used experimental controls, and methodological limitations precluded the calculation of effect sizes.
Clinical Question 2: What Is the Influence of OMEs on Sound Production?
Four efficacy studies and four exploratory studies investigated the effects of OMEs on sound production as assessed through both formal and informal measures.
Efficacy Studies
As noted in Table 4, the four efficacy studies included in this review addressed a variety of populations and interventions. Two studies (Baskervill, 1976; Christensen & Hanson, 1981) compared the effectiveness of articulation treatment plus neuromuscular facilitation or myofunctional treatment to articulation treatment alone in school-age children exhibiting sibilant distortion and tongue thrust. The third study (Carlstedt et al., 2003) evaluated the use of oral stimulating plates combined with OMEs compared to OMEs only in young children with Down syndrome. The fourth study (Logemann, Pauloski, Rademaker, & Colangelo, 1997) examined the effects of range of motion and coordination exercises of the lips, tongue, jaw, and larynx in individuals with head and neck cancer.
TABLE 4Participant and treatment characteristics—sound production efficacy studies (Question 2).
Participant and treatment characteristics—sound production efficacy studies (Question 2).×
CitationNAgeGenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosisas reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceEffect size (95% confidence interval)Quality marker score
Baskervill (1976) 58–10 years4 M, 1 FReverse swallowing pattern and sibilant distortionsIntervention group—Speech Improvement Program (SIS), an audio-taped articulation program focusing on auditory discrimination production and stabilization plus myofunctional treatment targeting strengthening of orofacial musculature and tongue as well as tongue tip placement during swallowingControl group—SIS only16 sessions were scheduled for 30–45 min, 3 times per week.McDonald Deep Test of Articulation (McDonald, 1964)NRNR2/8
Carlstedt et al. (2003) 203–33 months12 M, 8 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulation plate therapy plus physiotherapy program designed by SLPControl group—physiotherapy program designed by SLPPlates were worn for 1 hr 2–3 times per day for a minimum of 4 years (range = 49–58 months).Control group—not reportedClinician judgment of consonant productionNSNR2/8
Christensen and Hanson (1981) 105;8–6;9; M = 6;26 M, 4 FSevere anterior tongue thrust and acoustically severe frontal lispIntervention group—tongue thrust treatment incorporating neuromuscular facilitation techniques for first 6 weeks followed by alternating sessions of tongue thrust and articulation treatment for the next 8 weeks.Control group—traditional articulation treatmentAll participants (both intervention and control group) received a total of 22 individual ½-hr treatment sessions. Therapy was provided once a week for 6 weeks followed by twice a week for 8 weeks.Total number of /s/ and /z/ errorsGoldman Fristoe Test of Articulation (Goldman & Fristoe, 1972)NSNS−0.44 (−1.65–0.86)−0.69 (−1.9–0.64)6/8
Logemann et al. (1997) 102Not reportedNot reportedSurgically treated oral and oropharyngeal cancerInstruction in range of motion and/or coordination exercises of the lips, tongue, jaw, and larynx.Participants were instructed to perform the group of exercises for 5–10 min, 10 times per day.Fisher–Logemann Test of Articulation Competence (Fisher & Logemann, 1971)NS0.19 (−0.23–0.6)3/7
TABLE 4Participant and treatment characteristics—sound production efficacy studies (Question 2).
Participant and treatment characteristics—sound production efficacy studies (Question 2).×
CitationNAgeGenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosisas reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceEffect size (95% confidence interval)Quality marker score
Baskervill (1976) 58–10 years4 M, 1 FReverse swallowing pattern and sibilant distortionsIntervention group—Speech Improvement Program (SIS), an audio-taped articulation program focusing on auditory discrimination production and stabilization plus myofunctional treatment targeting strengthening of orofacial musculature and tongue as well as tongue tip placement during swallowingControl group—SIS only16 sessions were scheduled for 30–45 min, 3 times per week.McDonald Deep Test of Articulation (McDonald, 1964)NRNR2/8
Carlstedt et al. (2003) 203–33 months12 M, 8 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulation plate therapy plus physiotherapy program designed by SLPControl group—physiotherapy program designed by SLPPlates were worn for 1 hr 2–3 times per day for a minimum of 4 years (range = 49–58 months).Control group—not reportedClinician judgment of consonant productionNSNR2/8
Christensen and Hanson (1981) 105;8–6;9; M = 6;26 M, 4 FSevere anterior tongue thrust and acoustically severe frontal lispIntervention group—tongue thrust treatment incorporating neuromuscular facilitation techniques for first 6 weeks followed by alternating sessions of tongue thrust and articulation treatment for the next 8 weeks.Control group—traditional articulation treatmentAll participants (both intervention and control group) received a total of 22 individual ½-hr treatment sessions. Therapy was provided once a week for 6 weeks followed by twice a week for 8 weeks.Total number of /s/ and /z/ errorsGoldman Fristoe Test of Articulation (Goldman & Fristoe, 1972)NSNS−0.44 (−1.65–0.86)−0.69 (−1.9–0.64)6/8
Logemann et al. (1997) 102Not reportedNot reportedSurgically treated oral and oropharyngeal cancerInstruction in range of motion and/or coordination exercises of the lips, tongue, jaw, and larynx.Participants were instructed to perform the group of exercises for 5–10 min, 10 times per day.Fisher–Logemann Test of Articulation Competence (Fisher & Logemann, 1971)NS0.19 (−0.23–0.6)3/7
×
Table 5 summarizes the methodological quality ratings for each of the four studies. Three of the four studies were controlled trials; therefore, all eight quality markers were applicable. Logemann et al. (1997)  was considered a cohort study, so the eighth marker (intention-to-treat analysis) was not relevant. Most of the studies (three) had valid and reliable outcome measures, and reported or supplied sufficient data to calculate statistical significance. One study (Christensen & Hanson, 1981) reported blinding of the assessors to the treatment condition and data analysis by an intention-to-treat standard. Neither random allocation of participants to groups nor adequate description of randomization procedures or methods taken to ensure participant comparability between groups was reported in any of the included studies.
TABLE 5Appraisal summary of sound production efficacy studies (Question 2).
Appraisal summary of sound production efficacy studies (Question 2).×
CitationStudy designBlindingAllocationSubjectsOutcomesSignificancePrecisionIntention-to-treat
Baskervill (1976) Controlled trialNot statedConvenience sample/hand-picked sampleComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliableP value neither reported nor calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot analyzed by intention-to-treat
Carlstedt et al. (2003) Controlled trialAssessors not blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedValidity unknown but appears reasonable; reliablePvalue reported or calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot stated
Christensen and Hanson (1981) Controlled trialAssessors blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableAnalyzed by intention-to-treat
Logemann et al. (1997) Cohort studyNot statedConvenience sample/hand-picked sampleComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableNot applicable
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.×
TABLE 5Appraisal summary of sound production efficacy studies (Question 2).
Appraisal summary of sound production efficacy studies (Question 2).×
CitationStudy designBlindingAllocationSubjectsOutcomesSignificancePrecisionIntention-to-treat
Baskervill (1976) Controlled trialNot statedConvenience sample/hand-picked sampleComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliableP value neither reported nor calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot analyzed by intention-to-treat
Carlstedt et al. (2003) Controlled trialAssessors not blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedValidity unknown but appears reasonable; reliablePvalue reported or calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot stated
Christensen and Hanson (1981) Controlled trialAssessors blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableAnalyzed by intention-to-treat
Logemann et al. (1997) Cohort studyNot statedConvenience sample/hand-picked sampleComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableNot applicable
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.×
×
Cohen’s d values were calculated for two studies (Christensen & Hanson, 1981; Logemann et al., 1997). The three effect sizes ranged from −0.69 to 0.19. The two effect sizes calculated from Christensen and Hanson (1981)  both favored articulation treatment alone over articulation treatment plus OME. A small effect (d = −0.44) was noted on the total number of /s/ and /z/ errors, and a medium effect (d = −0.69) on Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation scores (Goldman & Fristoe, 1972). Logemann et al. reported a negligible effect (0.19) for the use of OMEs (i.e., range of motion exercises) for improving speech sound production as measured by the Fisher–Logemann Test of Articulation Competence (Fisher & Logemann, 1971). Two other efficacy studies also addressed this question, but effect sizes were not calculable. One study (Carlstedt et al., 2003) reported no significant improvements in speech sound production following OMEs, and the other study (Baskervill, 1976) did not report or supply adequate data to calculate statistical significance for differences on the McDonald Deep Test of Articulation (McDonald, 1964).
Exploratory Studies
Four exploratory studies addressed this clinical question and examined the use of various OMEs in school-age children (see Appendix B). Two studies (Guisti Braislin & Cascella, 2005; Powers & Starr, 1974) reported no significant changes in speech sound production following OMEs, and two studies (Fischer-Brandies, Avalle, & Limbrock, 1987; Ray, 2003) did not provide sufficient data to analyze the findings statistically.
Clinical Question 3: What Is the Influence of OMEs on Functional Speech Outcomes?
Six studies related to OMEs and functional speech outcomes (i.e., intelligibility) were identified. Two of the studies met the criteria for efficacy research, and four met those for exploratory research.
Efficacy Studies
Of the two efficacy studies addressing this clinical question (see Table 6), one was a controlled trial examining the effects of two different OMEs (OMEs with oral stimulating plate compared with OMEs alone) in children with Down syndrome (Carlstedt et al., 2003); the other was a cohort study that described the changes associated with OMEs in participants with head and neck cancer (Logemann et al., 1997). The methodological quality ratings for each study are reported in Table 7. Both studies reported or supplied sufficient data to calculate statistical significance and effect sizes. Neither study provided an adequate description of the comparability between groups, used outcome measures with known or reported validity and reliability, or allocated participants with well-described randomization procedures. One study (Logemann et al., 1997) reported blinding of the assessors to the treatment condition.
TABLE 6Participant and treatment characteristics—functional speech outcomes efficacy studies (Question 3).
Participant and treatment characteristics—functional speech outcomes efficacy studies (Question 3).×
CitationNAgeGenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceEffect size (95% confidence interval)Quality marker score
Carlstedt et al. (2003) 203–33 months12 M, 8 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulating plate therapy plus physiotherapy program designed by SLPPlates worn for 1 hr 2–3 times per day for a minimum of 4 years (range = 49–58 months)Parent perception of intelligibility to familyNS−0.56 (−1.43–0.36)3/8
Control group—physiotherapy program designed by SLPControl group—not reportedParent perception of intelligibility to strangersNS−0.02 (−0.9–0.87)
Logemann et al. (1997) 102NRNRSurgically treated oral and oropharyngeal cancerInstruction in range of motion and/or coordination exercises of the lips, tongue, jaw, and larynx.Participants were instructed to perform the group of exercises for 5–10 min, 10 times per day.Percentage intelligibility of conversational speechNS0.4 (−0.05–0.84)3/7
TABLE 6Participant and treatment characteristics—functional speech outcomes efficacy studies (Question 3).
Participant and treatment characteristics—functional speech outcomes efficacy studies (Question 3).×
CitationNAgeGenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceEffect size (95% confidence interval)Quality marker score
Carlstedt et al. (2003) 203–33 months12 M, 8 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulating plate therapy plus physiotherapy program designed by SLPPlates worn for 1 hr 2–3 times per day for a minimum of 4 years (range = 49–58 months)Parent perception of intelligibility to familyNS−0.56 (−1.43–0.36)3/8
Control group—physiotherapy program designed by SLPControl group—not reportedParent perception of intelligibility to strangersNS−0.02 (−0.9–0.87)
Logemann et al. (1997) 102NRNRSurgically treated oral and oropharyngeal cancerInstruction in range of motion and/or coordination exercises of the lips, tongue, jaw, and larynx.Participants were instructed to perform the group of exercises for 5–10 min, 10 times per day.Percentage intelligibility of conversational speechNS0.4 (−0.05–0.84)3/7
×
TABLE 7Appraisal summary of functional speech outcomes efficacy studies (Question 3).
Appraisal summary of functional speech outcomes efficacy studies (Question 3).×
CitationStudy designBlindingAllocationSubjectsOutcomesSignificancePrecisionIntention-to-treat
Carlstedt et al. (2003) Controlled trialAssessors not blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedValidity unknown but appears reasonable; reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableNot analyzed by intention-to-treat
Logemann et al. (1997) Cohort studyAssessors blindedConvenience sample/hand-picked sampleComparability not reportedValidity unknown but appears reasonable; reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableNot applicable
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.×
TABLE 7Appraisal summary of functional speech outcomes efficacy studies (Question 3).
Appraisal summary of functional speech outcomes efficacy studies (Question 3).×
CitationStudy designBlindingAllocationSubjectsOutcomesSignificancePrecisionIntention-to-treat
Carlstedt et al. (2003) Controlled trialAssessors not blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedValidity unknown but appears reasonable; reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableNot analyzed by intention-to-treat
Logemann et al. (1997) Cohort studyAssessors blindedConvenience sample/hand-picked sampleComparability not reportedValidity unknown but appears reasonable; reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableNot applicable
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.×
×
Three effect sizes were calculable from these two studies and ranged from −0.56 to 0.4. The two effect sizes calculated from Carlstedt et al. (2003)  favored OMEs only over OMEs plus oral stimulating plates. A medium effect (d = −0.56) was noted on parent perception of participants' intelligibility to family members and a negligible effect (d = −0.02) for parent perception of participants' intelligibility to strangers. The small effect size (d = 0.4) calculated from Logemann et al. (1997)  described the positive change in intelligibility of conversational speech for participants performing range of motion exercises versus those who did not.
Exploratory Studies
Three exploratory studies contributed data to address this clinical question (see Appendix C). The studies examined the use of OMEs in participants with dysarthria secondary to various etiologies including traumatic brain injury, stroke, and cerebral palsy. These studies only used pre- and posttest designs. No significant changes were noted in measures of intelligibility of sentences or conversations (Ray, 2002). Two studies (Ray, 2001, 2002) reported significant positive changes in single word intelligibility, and one study (Jones et al., 2006) did not provide sufficient data to analyze the findings.
Effect of Study Quality on Results
Results from included studies were analyzed to determine whether variations in study quality were associated with variations in effect size. However, because there were only minimal discrepancies among the included studies in quality or effect sizes, no conclusions were possible.
Discussion
Few treatment strategies in speech-language pathology have generated as much interest and controversy as nonspeech OMEs directed at speech improvement (Powell, 2008; Watson & Lof, 2008). This systematic review does little to resolve the controversies surrounding the use of OMEs. The conclusion that must be drawn from this review is that the existing research literature provides insufficient evidence to support or refute the use of nonspeech OMEs.
The difficulty of examining OMEs and speech production is multifold. First, very few articles have been published examining the efficacy of nonspeech oral motor activities toward improving speech production. Moreover, many of the efficacy articles included in this EBSR did not compare OMEs with more traditional treatment approaches. Instead, these articles compared one OME intervention with a different OME intervention (as defined by this EBSR). These types of studies make it difficult to ascertain not only the absolute efficacy of OMEs but also their relative efficacy compared to existing alternatives. Furthermore, many of the articles that do exist could not be included in this review because they did not address the effectiveness of OMEs alone and instead targeted the use of OMEs in combination with other treatment approaches. While this combination approach is often used clinically (Joffe & Pring, 2008; Lof & Watson, 2008), it is not possible to determine the true impact and added value of an intervention if it is not examined separately or controlled for within a research design.
An additional important study was a literature review of nonspeech oral motor treatments (Lass & Pannbacker, 2008) that was published as this article was being finalized. Although that article addressed a similar, although not identical, topic to the one addressed here, its methods differed in numerous respects from the present one. These differences included its treatment of both articulation and voice as “speech” outcomes, its inclusion of presentations and non-peer-reviewed articles as possible sources of evidence, its acceptance of studies incorporating mixed treatments, and its use of different appraisal methods. Additionally, the overlap between this review and Lass and Pannbacker’s results is small. Of the 15 studies included in Lass and Pannbacker’s article, only 3 are common to this EBSR. These differences prevent a detailed comparison of the results of that article and those reported here. In general, however, Lass and Pannbacker’s conclusions are similar in that they cite a lack of sufficient evidence supporting the use of OMEs. However, they also interpreted their findings as supporting the conclusion that OMEs “should be excluded from use as a mainstream treatment until there are further data” (p. 408), a broad conclusion we could not reach based on the data presented here.
Other articles addressing the effects of OMEs were excluded from this analysis. For example, several narrative reviews (e.g., Clark, 2003; Marshalla, 2008) were not included because they provided a summary of various OMEs and techniques but did not address the efficacy of any particular approach. Other articles were excluded from this EBSR because they were not published in the peer-reviewed literature. Limiting articles to those appearing in journals that incorporate independent scrutiny as part of their publication process is a reasonable step to ensure that some initial vetting of the research has taken place, but even doing this has shortcomings. Despite being published in the peer-reviewed literature, many of the included articles exhibited methodological weaknesses, specifically inadequate description of protocols, interventions, and participants, as well as lack of blinding. Adequate and thorough descriptions of treatment protocols and interventions are necessary to allow for replication by researchers and clinicians. Additionally, given that an important aspect of reviewing the existing evidence is to interpret the results in light of the patient or patients for whom one is considering a particular treatment, a comprehensive participant description is essential. Drawing conclusions from evidence is difficult when few details (e.g., concomitant deficits, severity of the disorder, or cognition) about the participants of the study are provided. Part of evidence-based practice involves determining which techniques are appropriate and potentially effective for particular populations. Another important aspect of reviewing evidence is to control for potential subjective bias. One safeguard that is often used is blinding. Studies that do not incorporate blinding (most of the studies reviewed here did not implement blinding) may introduce systematic bias, which can influence the study findings by inflating the effects of the intervention (Wood et al., 2008).
A final problem in interpreting the results of this systematic review is that even within the small corpus of studies that do exist, there is a great deal of variability among the studies in the populations, types of OME, and outcomes investigated. For example, the participants included in this EBSR ranged from infants to elderly adults who exhibited a wide variety of medical diagnoses and communication disorders, including mild articulation disorder, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, stroke, cleft palate, traumatic brain injury, tongue thrust, and oral or oropharyngeal cancer. Moreover, the types of OMEs used in these studies were equally diverse. Given the breadth of the definition of OMEs used for this EBSR, many types of OMEs were examined and included such different interventions as oral stimulating plates, myofunctional therapy, range of motion exercises, strengthening exercises, sensory stimulation, and blowing/sucking exercises. Attempting to generalize the findings of such a disparate group of studies for clinical decision making is not only problematic but ill-advised.
As Sackett, Rosenberg, Gray, Haynes, and Richardson (1996)  note, evidence-based practice entails explicit use of the current best evidence from systematic research when making decisions about treatment. Another principle of evidence-based practice is the integration of individual clinical experience with that best research evidence. On the surface, that may seem to give clinicians permission to rely on prevailing and commonly used treatment. However, Sackett and colleagues also note that “it is when asking questions about therapy that we should try to avoid the nonexperimental approaches, since these routinely lead to false positive conclusions about efficacy” (p. 72). Therefore, relying on clinical experience alone and prevailing popular techniques may not be a wise way to select a specific treatment approach.
Despite the shortcomings of the evidence base for information about the value of OMEs, there are still a number of strategies to help clinicians in making the best clinical decisions regarding treatments designed to influence speech. These include implementing efficacious treatments—for populations and problems for which these have been identified, understanding the theoretical frameworks and evidence for relevant areas of basic research (e.g., speech physiology or motor learning), and examining untested treatment approaches under controlled conditions.
Probably the best option available is for clinicians to seek out alternative speech treatments whose efficacy has already been established in the literature. Especially when speech production or functional speech outcomes are the ultimate goals of intervention, treatments that directly work toward those outcomes have been proposed and studied for a large number of populations. For example, for adult patients, several systematic reviews have documented the effects of speech treatments focusing on vocal loudness, vocal effort, and pitch for improving intelligibility in individuals with dysarthria and Parkinson’s disease (Yorkston, Hakel, Beukelman, & Fager, 2007; Yorkston, Spencer, & Duffy, 2003). In the area of children’s speech sound disorders, a number of interventions have been supported for use with relatively well-defined populations—for example, minimal pairs (e.g., Ruscello, Cartwright, Haines, & Shuster, 1993) and cycles (e.g., Almost & Rosenbaum, 1998; Hodson, Nonomura, & Zappia, 1989).
A second option is presented in the form of basic research providing evidence on the underlying mechanisms by which OMEs could be expected to work—for example, evidence regarding speech physiology, speech development, and motor learning (e.g., Bunton, 2008; Clark, 2003, in press; Maas et al., 2008; Wilson, Green, Yunusova, & Moore, 2008). Discussions of evidence-based practice frequently note that because basic research does not directly address clinical questions, it is best used to help set the stage for research that does (e.g., Dollaghan, 2007). Nonetheless, when clinical evidence is missing, such research may suggest whether specific rationales or approaches are reasonable. For example, if clinicians are concerned about low tone affecting a client’s tongue or lips, knowledge of anatomy (specifically the differences in muscle spindle distribution in those structures) and physiology (in particular, the role of the muscle spindles in activating the stretch reflex) would cause them to question the use of an OME (e.g., quick stretch) intended to accomplish increases in tone through the stretch reflex (Clark, 2003). Similarly, if clinicians are concerned about the absence of /t,d/ in a child’s repertoire, knowledge of motor learning (such as the importance of targeting complex movements as a whole; Maas et al., 2008) would cause them to question the use of an OME (e.g., tongue tip elevation outside of speech) intended to improve alveolar placements in speech. Although Sackett and colleagues (1996)  note that basic research conducted on a nonclinical population should not be the first place for evidence-based practice oriented clinicians to turn, such research provides a more solid base than anecdotal testimonials or expert opinions.
A third option open to clinicians seeking an efficacious treatment for their clients with speech sound disorders involves implementing reasonable and logically sound treatment approaches with clients in a controlled, experimental context. Undertaking an examination of treatment outcomes (internal evidence) for a client should always be a part of the clinical process (Baker & McLeod, 2004). However, like external evidence, internal evidence can vary in quality. For example, whereas pre- and posttesting can help a clinician gain some sense of whether change has occurred, the use of a single-subject experimental design to track progress provides more detailed information and, most importantly, helps to rule out alternative explanations for that change, such as development or recovery (Barlow, Nock, & Hersen, 2009). If clinicians choose to incorporate interventions with no external evidence into a client’s treatment plan, the client should be informed that the treatment is exploratory (Duchan, Calculator, Sonnemeier, Diehl, & Cumley, 2001), and clinicians should carefully evaluate the effects of the treatment within a controlled treatment design.
Limitations of the Current Review
There are several limitations of this EBSR that should be considered. First, only articles published in English were included in this review. Given this, it is possible that some studies addressing the effectiveness of OMEs were not identified. Additionally, many of the identified studies were excluded because they did not address one of the targeted outcomes outlined in the clinical questions. If the clinical questions of this EBSR had been expanded to include outcomes such as increased strength or range of motion, more studies would have been available for analysis. Finally, as noted above, the wide variation across studies in terms of participants, interventions, and outcomes meant that there was no common denominator, such as a shared outcome measure, on which to evaluate OMEs or with which to conduct a comparative analysis of effect sizes.
Conclusion
This systematic review was designed to examine the current evidence for the use of nonspeech OMEs toward improving speech production. The current state of evidence is equivocal due to the lack of well-designed, experimentally controlled studies with adequate statistical power and well-described participants. Given this, clinicians must consider carefully what a particular oral motor activity is likely to accomplish and whether it addresses the impairment the client actually exhibits (based on the knowledge bases discussed above). At this time, based on theory and available evidence, the use of OMEs must be considered exploratory, and clients should be informed of this prior to initiating their use in treatment.
Future research efforts on OMEs should focus on establishing the efficacy of specific approaches through well-designed single-subject and group experimental studies that provide adequate descriptions of participants and interventions, control for the influence of variables outside of treatment, and incorporate reliable and valid outcome measures. Only by growing the research evidence base can clinicians continue to improve their ability to make sound clinical decisions.
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.
References

References marked with an asterisk indicate studies included in the EBSR.

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Appendix A
Summary of Speech Physiology Exploratory Studies (Question 1)
CitationNAge (years)GenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceQuality marker score
Daglio et al. (1993) 756–2222 M, 53 FFrontal open bite and lip/tongue dyskinesiaFunctional orofacial physiotherapyNot statedProportion of participants with lisp based on clinical observationp < .0011/7
Ray (2001) 167–10; M = 8.69 M, 7FCerebral palsy with mild to moderate spasticity and dysarthric speechOrofacial myofunctional treatment program that focused on oral sensory stimulation and exercises for lips, tongue, jaws, and cheeksParticipants received 25-min sessions (15 min of individual treatment and 10 min of group treatment) 5 times per week over 4 months. Additionally, parents implemented a home-based exercise program 4–5 times per day.Diadochokinetic rateNS2/7
Ray (2002) 12M = 74.7Not reportedSingle right hemisphere ischemic stroke and mild to moderate dysarthriaTreatment focused on oral sensory stimulation and strengthening exercises for lips, tongue, jaws, and cheeks.Participants received 45-min treatment sessions twice weekly for 2 months.Alternating motion rateNS2/7
Note. NS = not significant.
Note. NS = not significant.×
CitationNAge (years)GenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceQuality marker score
Daglio et al. (1993) 756–2222 M, 53 FFrontal open bite and lip/tongue dyskinesiaFunctional orofacial physiotherapyNot statedProportion of participants with lisp based on clinical observationp < .0011/7
Ray (2001) 167–10; M = 8.69 M, 7FCerebral palsy with mild to moderate spasticity and dysarthric speechOrofacial myofunctional treatment program that focused on oral sensory stimulation and exercises for lips, tongue, jaws, and cheeksParticipants received 25-min sessions (15 min of individual treatment and 10 min of group treatment) 5 times per week over 4 months. Additionally, parents implemented a home-based exercise program 4–5 times per day.Diadochokinetic rateNS2/7
Ray (2002) 12M = 74.7Not reportedSingle right hemisphere ischemic stroke and mild to moderate dysarthriaTreatment focused on oral sensory stimulation and strengthening exercises for lips, tongue, jaws, and cheeks.Participants received 45-min treatment sessions twice weekly for 2 months.Alternating motion rateNS2/7
Note. NS = not significant.
Note. NS = not significant.×
×
Appendix B
Summary of Sound Production Exploratory Studies (Question 2)
CitationNAge (years)GenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceQuality marker score
Fischer-Brandeis et al. (1987) 714–14; M = 1034 M, 37 FCerebral palsyRemovable stimulatory plates for orofacial regulation therapy. Approximately 1/3 of the participants also received oral and facial physiotherapy.Plates were worn for an average of 15 months (range = 6–36 months).Observation of labial, palatal, and dental sound productionNR0/7
Guisti Braislin and Cascella (2005) 46;4–6;9 (years;months); M = 6;62 M, 2 FMild functional articulation disorder of unknown originEasy Does It for Articulation: An Oral-Motor Approach (Strode & Chamberlain, 1997)Participants received 15 ½-hr small-group (n = 2) treatment sessions over 7 weeks.Number of errors on GFTANS4/7
Powers and Starr (1974) 48–113 M, 1 FPalatal cleft repaired before age 2 and mild to moderate nasalityTreatment consisted of 4 sets of exercises: blowing and sucking exercises targeting velar muscle activity, and swallowing and gagging exercises focusing on pharyngeal wall muscle activity.Exercises were performed 4 times per day, 5 days per week, for 6 weeks.9-point equal-appearing scale ranging from mild nasality (1) to severe nasality (9), immediate posttreatmentNS2/7
At 6-week follow-upNS
Ray (2003) 618–23; M = 204 M, 2 FAnterior open bite with front and lateral lisp; one participant described as having developmental verbal apraxiaOral motor treatment focusing on tongue resting postures and lip closure. Activities included holding a tongue depressor between lips and holding the tongue tip on alveolar ridge for 15 min per day.Participants received 1 45-min treatment session per week for 6 weeks plus additional home assignments.Percentage of single words, sentences, and connected speech with no phonemic or phonetic errors.NR2/7
Note. NR = not reported or calculable; GFTA = Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation (Goldman & Fristoe, 1972).
Note. NR = not reported or calculable; GFTA = Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation (Goldman & Fristoe, 1972).×
CitationNAge (years)GenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceQuality marker score
Fischer-Brandeis et al. (1987) 714–14; M = 1034 M, 37 FCerebral palsyRemovable stimulatory plates for orofacial regulation therapy. Approximately 1/3 of the participants also received oral and facial physiotherapy.Plates were worn for an average of 15 months (range = 6–36 months).Observation of labial, palatal, and dental sound productionNR0/7
Guisti Braislin and Cascella (2005) 46;4–6;9 (years;months); M = 6;62 M, 2 FMild functional articulation disorder of unknown originEasy Does It for Articulation: An Oral-Motor Approach (Strode & Chamberlain, 1997)Participants received 15 ½-hr small-group (n = 2) treatment sessions over 7 weeks.Number of errors on GFTANS4/7
Powers and Starr (1974) 48–113 M, 1 FPalatal cleft repaired before age 2 and mild to moderate nasalityTreatment consisted of 4 sets of exercises: blowing and sucking exercises targeting velar muscle activity, and swallowing and gagging exercises focusing on pharyngeal wall muscle activity.Exercises were performed 4 times per day, 5 days per week, for 6 weeks.9-point equal-appearing scale ranging from mild nasality (1) to severe nasality (9), immediate posttreatmentNS2/7
At 6-week follow-upNS
Ray (2003) 618–23; M = 204 M, 2 FAnterior open bite with front and lateral lisp; one participant described as having developmental verbal apraxiaOral motor treatment focusing on tongue resting postures and lip closure. Activities included holding a tongue depressor between lips and holding the tongue tip on alveolar ridge for 15 min per day.Participants received 1 45-min treatment session per week for 6 weeks plus additional home assignments.Percentage of single words, sentences, and connected speech with no phonemic or phonetic errors.NR2/7
Note. NR = not reported or calculable; GFTA = Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation (Goldman & Fristoe, 1972).
Note. NR = not reported or calculable; GFTA = Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation (Goldman & Fristoe, 1972).×
×
Appendix C
Summary of Functional Speech Outcomes Exploratory Studies (Question 3)
CitationNAge (years)GenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceQuality marker score
Jones et al. (2006) 1261 F4 years after severe traumatic brain injury with complex mixed dysarthria and Lance-Adams syndromeExpiratory muscle strength training—forceful exhalation against resistance until a set level of pressure is producedParticipant completed 25 trials per day; 1 time per week in clinic (5 trials; followed by 5–10 min of rest) and daily at home for 6 months.10 sentences, 14 words each, from the AIDS, administered posttreatment and at 3-month follow-up.NR2/7
Ray (2001) 167–10; M = 8.69 M, 7 FCerebral palsy with mild to moderate spasticity and dysarthric speechOrofacial myofunctional treatment program that focused on oral sensory stimulation and exercises for lips, tongue, jaws, and cheeksParticipants received 25-min sessions (15 min of individual treatment and 10 min of group treatment) 5 times per week over 4 months. Additionally, parents implemented a home-based exercise program 4–5 times per day.5-point intelligibility rating scalep = .00234/7
Ray (2002) 12M = 74.7NRSingle right hemisphere ischemic stroke and mild to moderate dysarthriaTreatment that focused on oral sensory stimulation and strengthening exercises for lips, tongue, jaws, and cheeksParticipants received 45-min treatment sessions twice weekly for 2 months.5-point intelligibility rating scale—single wordsp < .0013/7
Sentence and conversational speechNS
Note. AIDS = Assessment for Intelligibility of Dysarthric Speech (Yorkston & Beukelman, 1984).
Note. AIDS = Assessment for Intelligibility of Dysarthric Speech (Yorkston & Beukelman, 1984).×
CitationNAge (years)GenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceQuality marker score
Jones et al. (2006) 1261 F4 years after severe traumatic brain injury with complex mixed dysarthria and Lance-Adams syndromeExpiratory muscle strength training—forceful exhalation against resistance until a set level of pressure is producedParticipant completed 25 trials per day; 1 time per week in clinic (5 trials; followed by 5–10 min of rest) and daily at home for 6 months.10 sentences, 14 words each, from the AIDS, administered posttreatment and at 3-month follow-up.NR2/7
Ray (2001) 167–10; M = 8.69 M, 7 FCerebral palsy with mild to moderate spasticity and dysarthric speechOrofacial myofunctional treatment program that focused on oral sensory stimulation and exercises for lips, tongue, jaws, and cheeksParticipants received 25-min sessions (15 min of individual treatment and 10 min of group treatment) 5 times per week over 4 months. Additionally, parents implemented a home-based exercise program 4–5 times per day.5-point intelligibility rating scalep = .00234/7
Ray (2002) 12M = 74.7NRSingle right hemisphere ischemic stroke and mild to moderate dysarthriaTreatment that focused on oral sensory stimulation and strengthening exercises for lips, tongue, jaws, and cheeksParticipants received 45-min treatment sessions twice weekly for 2 months.5-point intelligibility rating scale—single wordsp < .0013/7
Sentence and conversational speechNS
Note. AIDS = Assessment for Intelligibility of Dysarthric Speech (Yorkston & Beukelman, 1984).
Note. AIDS = Assessment for Intelligibility of Dysarthric Speech (Yorkston & Beukelman, 1984).×
×
FIGURE 1

Process for identification of included studies.

Image Not Available
FIGURE 1

Process for identification of included studies.

×
TABLE 1Quality indicators.
Quality indicators.×
IndicatorQuality marker
Study design• Controlled trial
• Cohort study
• Retrospective case control or single-subject design
• Case series
• Case study
Blinding• Assessors blinded
• Assessors not blinded or not stated
Sampling/allocation• Random sample adequately described
• Random sample inadequately described
• Convenience sample adequately described
• Convenience sample inadequately described or hand-picked sample or not stated
Group/participant comparability• Groups/participants comparable at baseline on important factors (between-subjects design) or participant(s) adequately described (within-subjects design)
• Groups/participants not comparable at baseline or comparability not reported or participant(s) not adequately described
Outcomes• At least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliable.
• Validity is unknown but appears reasonable; measure is reliable.
• Invalid and/or unreliable
SignificanceP value reported or calculable
P value neither reported nor calculable
Precision• Effect size and confidence interval reported or calculable
• Effect size or confidence interval, but not both, reported or calculable
• Neither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculable
Intention-to-treat (controlled trials only)• Analyzed by intention-to-treat
• Not analyzed by intention-to-treat or not stated
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality marker.
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality marker.×
TABLE 1Quality indicators.
Quality indicators.×
IndicatorQuality marker
Study design• Controlled trial
• Cohort study
• Retrospective case control or single-subject design
• Case series
• Case study
Blinding• Assessors blinded
• Assessors not blinded or not stated
Sampling/allocation• Random sample adequately described
• Random sample inadequately described
• Convenience sample adequately described
• Convenience sample inadequately described or hand-picked sample or not stated
Group/participant comparability• Groups/participants comparable at baseline on important factors (between-subjects design) or participant(s) adequately described (within-subjects design)
• Groups/participants not comparable at baseline or comparability not reported or participant(s) not adequately described
Outcomes• At least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliable.
• Validity is unknown but appears reasonable; measure is reliable.
• Invalid and/or unreliable
SignificanceP value reported or calculable
P value neither reported nor calculable
Precision• Effect size and confidence interval reported or calculable
• Effect size or confidence interval, but not both, reported or calculable
• Neither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculable
Intention-to-treat (controlled trials only)• Analyzed by intention-to-treat
• Not analyzed by intention-to-treat or not stated
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality marker.
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality marker.×
×
TABLE 2Participant and treatment characteristics—speech physiology efficacy studies (Question 1).
Participant and treatment characteristics—speech physiology efficacy studies (Question 1).×
CitationNAgeGenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceEffect size (95% confidence interval)Quality marker score
Backman et al. (2003) 10615–22 months; M = 18.3 months60 M, 46 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulating plates and oral motor sensory stimulationPlates worn 2–3 times per day for periods of 5–30 minSLP perception of motor prerequisites for articulation.NRNR1/8
Control group 1 (age-matched nondisordered)—no treatmentControl group—not reported
Control group 2—oral motor and sensory stimulation
Carlstedt et al. (2001) 203–33 months12 M, 8 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulating plate therapy plus physiotherapy program designed by SLPPlates worn for 1 hr 2–3 times per day for a minimum of 4 years (range = 49–58 months)Clinical examination of lip rounding during speechp < .01NR5/8
Control group—physiotherapy program designed by SLPControl group—not reportedVideo registration of percentage of tongue protrusion during speechNS0.25 (−0.65–1.12)
Carlstedt et al. (2003) 203–33 months12 M, 8 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulating plate therapy plus physiotherapy program designed by SLPPlates worn for 1 hr 2–3 times per day for a minimum of 4 years (range = 49–58 months)Clinical examination of articulatory placementNSNR2/8
Control group—physiotherapy program designed by SLPControl group—not reported
Christensen and Hanson (1981) 105;8 (years;months)–6;9; M = 6;26 M, 4 FSevere anterior tongue thrust and acoustically severe frontal lispIntervention group—tongue thrust treatment incorporating neuromuscular facilitation techniques for first 6 weeks followed by alternating sessions of tongue thrust and articulation treatment for the next 8 weeks.All participants (both intervention and control group) received a total of 22 individual ½-hr treatment sessions. Therapy was provided once a week for 6 weeks followed by twice a week for 8 weeks.Tongue tip placement on lingua-alveolar soundsNS0.34 (−0.94–1.56)6/8
Control group—traditional articulation treatment
Korbmacher et al. (2004) 453;11–16;11; M = 8;432 M, 13 FMultiple untreated orofacial dysfunctionsIntervention group—face former therapy, which consisted of a series of lip and tongue exercises with a flexible silicone training deviceBoth groups were followed for 6 months.SLP examination of movement patterns during production of alveolar sounds.NSNR4/8
Control group—conventional myofunctional therapyIntervention group performed 20 repetitions of the exercises 3 times per day. After 3 weeks, the training device was worn overnight.
Control group—not reported
Note. SLP = speech-language pathologist; NR = not reported or calculable; NS = not significant.
Note. SLP = speech-language pathologist; NR = not reported or calculable; NS = not significant.×
TABLE 2Participant and treatment characteristics—speech physiology efficacy studies (Question 1).
Participant and treatment characteristics—speech physiology efficacy studies (Question 1).×
CitationNAgeGenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceEffect size (95% confidence interval)Quality marker score
Backman et al. (2003) 10615–22 months; M = 18.3 months60 M, 46 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulating plates and oral motor sensory stimulationPlates worn 2–3 times per day for periods of 5–30 minSLP perception of motor prerequisites for articulation.NRNR1/8
Control group 1 (age-matched nondisordered)—no treatmentControl group—not reported
Control group 2—oral motor and sensory stimulation
Carlstedt et al. (2001) 203–33 months12 M, 8 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulating plate therapy plus physiotherapy program designed by SLPPlates worn for 1 hr 2–3 times per day for a minimum of 4 years (range = 49–58 months)Clinical examination of lip rounding during speechp < .01NR5/8
Control group—physiotherapy program designed by SLPControl group—not reportedVideo registration of percentage of tongue protrusion during speechNS0.25 (−0.65–1.12)
Carlstedt et al. (2003) 203–33 months12 M, 8 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulating plate therapy plus physiotherapy program designed by SLPPlates worn for 1 hr 2–3 times per day for a minimum of 4 years (range = 49–58 months)Clinical examination of articulatory placementNSNR2/8
Control group—physiotherapy program designed by SLPControl group—not reported
Christensen and Hanson (1981) 105;8 (years;months)–6;9; M = 6;26 M, 4 FSevere anterior tongue thrust and acoustically severe frontal lispIntervention group—tongue thrust treatment incorporating neuromuscular facilitation techniques for first 6 weeks followed by alternating sessions of tongue thrust and articulation treatment for the next 8 weeks.All participants (both intervention and control group) received a total of 22 individual ½-hr treatment sessions. Therapy was provided once a week for 6 weeks followed by twice a week for 8 weeks.Tongue tip placement on lingua-alveolar soundsNS0.34 (−0.94–1.56)6/8
Control group—traditional articulation treatment
Korbmacher et al. (2004) 453;11–16;11; M = 8;432 M, 13 FMultiple untreated orofacial dysfunctionsIntervention group—face former therapy, which consisted of a series of lip and tongue exercises with a flexible silicone training deviceBoth groups were followed for 6 months.SLP examination of movement patterns during production of alveolar sounds.NSNR4/8
Control group—conventional myofunctional therapyIntervention group performed 20 repetitions of the exercises 3 times per day. After 3 weeks, the training device was worn overnight.
Control group—not reported
Note. SLP = speech-language pathologist; NR = not reported or calculable; NS = not significant.
Note. SLP = speech-language pathologist; NR = not reported or calculable; NS = not significant.×
×
TABLE 3Appraisal summary of speech physiology efficacy studies (Question 1).
Appraisal summary of speech physiology efficacy studies (Question 1).×
CitationStudy designBlindingAllocationSubjectsOutcomesSignificancePrecisionIntention-to-treat
Backman et al. (2003) Controlled trialNot statedConvenience sample/hand-picked sampleComparability not reportedInvalid and/or unreliableP value neither reported nor calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot stated
Carlstedt et al. (2001) Controlled trialAssessors not blindedRandom sample adequately describedComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableNot stated
Carlstedt et al. (2003) Controlled trialAssessors not blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedValidity unknown but appears reasonable; reliablePvalue reported or calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot stated
Christensen and Hanson (1981) Controlled trialAssessors blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableAnalyzed by intention-to-treat
Korbmacher et al. (2004) Controlled trialAssessors blindedRandom sample inadequately describedGroups comparable at baseline on important factors (between-subjects design)Invalid and/or unreliablePvalue reported or calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot analyzed by intention-to-treat
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.×
TABLE 3Appraisal summary of speech physiology efficacy studies (Question 1).
Appraisal summary of speech physiology efficacy studies (Question 1).×
CitationStudy designBlindingAllocationSubjectsOutcomesSignificancePrecisionIntention-to-treat
Backman et al. (2003) Controlled trialNot statedConvenience sample/hand-picked sampleComparability not reportedInvalid and/or unreliableP value neither reported nor calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot stated
Carlstedt et al. (2001) Controlled trialAssessors not blindedRandom sample adequately describedComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableNot stated
Carlstedt et al. (2003) Controlled trialAssessors not blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedValidity unknown but appears reasonable; reliablePvalue reported or calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot stated
Christensen and Hanson (1981) Controlled trialAssessors blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableAnalyzed by intention-to-treat
Korbmacher et al. (2004) Controlled trialAssessors blindedRandom sample inadequately describedGroups comparable at baseline on important factors (between-subjects design)Invalid and/or unreliablePvalue reported or calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot analyzed by intention-to-treat
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.×
×
TABLE 4Participant and treatment characteristics—sound production efficacy studies (Question 2).
Participant and treatment characteristics—sound production efficacy studies (Question 2).×
CitationNAgeGenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosisas reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceEffect size (95% confidence interval)Quality marker score
Baskervill (1976) 58–10 years4 M, 1 FReverse swallowing pattern and sibilant distortionsIntervention group—Speech Improvement Program (SIS), an audio-taped articulation program focusing on auditory discrimination production and stabilization plus myofunctional treatment targeting strengthening of orofacial musculature and tongue as well as tongue tip placement during swallowingControl group—SIS only16 sessions were scheduled for 30–45 min, 3 times per week.McDonald Deep Test of Articulation (McDonald, 1964)NRNR2/8
Carlstedt et al. (2003) 203–33 months12 M, 8 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulation plate therapy plus physiotherapy program designed by SLPControl group—physiotherapy program designed by SLPPlates were worn for 1 hr 2–3 times per day for a minimum of 4 years (range = 49–58 months).Control group—not reportedClinician judgment of consonant productionNSNR2/8
Christensen and Hanson (1981) 105;8–6;9; M = 6;26 M, 4 FSevere anterior tongue thrust and acoustically severe frontal lispIntervention group—tongue thrust treatment incorporating neuromuscular facilitation techniques for first 6 weeks followed by alternating sessions of tongue thrust and articulation treatment for the next 8 weeks.Control group—traditional articulation treatmentAll participants (both intervention and control group) received a total of 22 individual ½-hr treatment sessions. Therapy was provided once a week for 6 weeks followed by twice a week for 8 weeks.Total number of /s/ and /z/ errorsGoldman Fristoe Test of Articulation (Goldman & Fristoe, 1972)NSNS−0.44 (−1.65–0.86)−0.69 (−1.9–0.64)6/8
Logemann et al. (1997) 102Not reportedNot reportedSurgically treated oral and oropharyngeal cancerInstruction in range of motion and/or coordination exercises of the lips, tongue, jaw, and larynx.Participants were instructed to perform the group of exercises for 5–10 min, 10 times per day.Fisher–Logemann Test of Articulation Competence (Fisher & Logemann, 1971)NS0.19 (−0.23–0.6)3/7
TABLE 4Participant and treatment characteristics—sound production efficacy studies (Question 2).
Participant and treatment characteristics—sound production efficacy studies (Question 2).×
CitationNAgeGenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosisas reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceEffect size (95% confidence interval)Quality marker score
Baskervill (1976) 58–10 years4 M, 1 FReverse swallowing pattern and sibilant distortionsIntervention group—Speech Improvement Program (SIS), an audio-taped articulation program focusing on auditory discrimination production and stabilization plus myofunctional treatment targeting strengthening of orofacial musculature and tongue as well as tongue tip placement during swallowingControl group—SIS only16 sessions were scheduled for 30–45 min, 3 times per week.McDonald Deep Test of Articulation (McDonald, 1964)NRNR2/8
Carlstedt et al. (2003) 203–33 months12 M, 8 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulation plate therapy plus physiotherapy program designed by SLPControl group—physiotherapy program designed by SLPPlates were worn for 1 hr 2–3 times per day for a minimum of 4 years (range = 49–58 months).Control group—not reportedClinician judgment of consonant productionNSNR2/8
Christensen and Hanson (1981) 105;8–6;9; M = 6;26 M, 4 FSevere anterior tongue thrust and acoustically severe frontal lispIntervention group—tongue thrust treatment incorporating neuromuscular facilitation techniques for first 6 weeks followed by alternating sessions of tongue thrust and articulation treatment for the next 8 weeks.Control group—traditional articulation treatmentAll participants (both intervention and control group) received a total of 22 individual ½-hr treatment sessions. Therapy was provided once a week for 6 weeks followed by twice a week for 8 weeks.Total number of /s/ and /z/ errorsGoldman Fristoe Test of Articulation (Goldman & Fristoe, 1972)NSNS−0.44 (−1.65–0.86)−0.69 (−1.9–0.64)6/8
Logemann et al. (1997) 102Not reportedNot reportedSurgically treated oral and oropharyngeal cancerInstruction in range of motion and/or coordination exercises of the lips, tongue, jaw, and larynx.Participants were instructed to perform the group of exercises for 5–10 min, 10 times per day.Fisher–Logemann Test of Articulation Competence (Fisher & Logemann, 1971)NS0.19 (−0.23–0.6)3/7
×
TABLE 5Appraisal summary of sound production efficacy studies (Question 2).
Appraisal summary of sound production efficacy studies (Question 2).×
CitationStudy designBlindingAllocationSubjectsOutcomesSignificancePrecisionIntention-to-treat
Baskervill (1976) Controlled trialNot statedConvenience sample/hand-picked sampleComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliableP value neither reported nor calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot analyzed by intention-to-treat
Carlstedt et al. (2003) Controlled trialAssessors not blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedValidity unknown but appears reasonable; reliablePvalue reported or calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot stated
Christensen and Hanson (1981) Controlled trialAssessors blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableAnalyzed by intention-to-treat
Logemann et al. (1997) Cohort studyNot statedConvenience sample/hand-picked sampleComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableNot applicable
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.×
TABLE 5Appraisal summary of sound production efficacy studies (Question 2).
Appraisal summary of sound production efficacy studies (Question 2).×
CitationStudy designBlindingAllocationSubjectsOutcomesSignificancePrecisionIntention-to-treat
Baskervill (1976) Controlled trialNot statedConvenience sample/hand-picked sampleComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliableP value neither reported nor calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot analyzed by intention-to-treat
Carlstedt et al. (2003) Controlled trialAssessors not blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedValidity unknown but appears reasonable; reliablePvalue reported or calculableNeither effect size nor confidence interval reported or calculableNot stated
Christensen and Hanson (1981) Controlled trialAssessors blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableAnalyzed by intention-to-treat
Logemann et al. (1997) Cohort studyNot statedConvenience sample/hand-picked sampleComparability not reportedAt least one primary outcome measure is valid and reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableNot applicable
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.×
×
TABLE 6Participant and treatment characteristics—functional speech outcomes efficacy studies (Question 3).
Participant and treatment characteristics—functional speech outcomes efficacy studies (Question 3).×
CitationNAgeGenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceEffect size (95% confidence interval)Quality marker score
Carlstedt et al. (2003) 203–33 months12 M, 8 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulating plate therapy plus physiotherapy program designed by SLPPlates worn for 1 hr 2–3 times per day for a minimum of 4 years (range = 49–58 months)Parent perception of intelligibility to familyNS−0.56 (−1.43–0.36)3/8
Control group—physiotherapy program designed by SLPControl group—not reportedParent perception of intelligibility to strangersNS−0.02 (−0.9–0.87)
Logemann et al. (1997) 102NRNRSurgically treated oral and oropharyngeal cancerInstruction in range of motion and/or coordination exercises of the lips, tongue, jaw, and larynx.Participants were instructed to perform the group of exercises for 5–10 min, 10 times per day.Percentage intelligibility of conversational speechNS0.4 (−0.05–0.84)3/7
TABLE 6Participant and treatment characteristics—functional speech outcomes efficacy studies (Question 3).
Participant and treatment characteristics—functional speech outcomes efficacy studies (Question 3).×
CitationNAgeGenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceEffect size (95% confidence interval)Quality marker score
Carlstedt et al. (2003) 203–33 months12 M, 8 FDown syndromeIntervention group—oral stimulating plate therapy plus physiotherapy program designed by SLPPlates worn for 1 hr 2–3 times per day for a minimum of 4 years (range = 49–58 months)Parent perception of intelligibility to familyNS−0.56 (−1.43–0.36)3/8
Control group—physiotherapy program designed by SLPControl group—not reportedParent perception of intelligibility to strangersNS−0.02 (−0.9–0.87)
Logemann et al. (1997) 102NRNRSurgically treated oral and oropharyngeal cancerInstruction in range of motion and/or coordination exercises of the lips, tongue, jaw, and larynx.Participants were instructed to perform the group of exercises for 5–10 min, 10 times per day.Percentage intelligibility of conversational speechNS0.4 (−0.05–0.84)3/7
×
TABLE 7Appraisal summary of functional speech outcomes efficacy studies (Question 3).
Appraisal summary of functional speech outcomes efficacy studies (Question 3).×
CitationStudy designBlindingAllocationSubjectsOutcomesSignificancePrecisionIntention-to-treat
Carlstedt et al. (2003) Controlled trialAssessors not blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedValidity unknown but appears reasonable; reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableNot analyzed by intention-to-treat
Logemann et al. (1997) Cohort studyAssessors blindedConvenience sample/hand-picked sampleComparability not reportedValidity unknown but appears reasonable; reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableNot applicable
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.×
TABLE 7Appraisal summary of functional speech outcomes efficacy studies (Question 3).
Appraisal summary of functional speech outcomes efficacy studies (Question 3).×
CitationStudy designBlindingAllocationSubjectsOutcomesSignificancePrecisionIntention-to-treat
Carlstedt et al. (2003) Controlled trialAssessors not blindedRandom sample inadequately describedComparability not reportedValidity unknown but appears reasonable; reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableNot analyzed by intention-to-treat
Logemann et al. (1997) Cohort studyAssessors blindedConvenience sample/hand-picked sampleComparability not reportedValidity unknown but appears reasonable; reliablePvalue reported or calculableEffect size and confidence interval reported or calculableNot applicable
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.
Note. Boldface indicates highest level of quality in each category.×
×
CitationNAge (years)GenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceQuality marker score
Daglio et al. (1993) 756–2222 M, 53 FFrontal open bite and lip/tongue dyskinesiaFunctional orofacial physiotherapyNot statedProportion of participants with lisp based on clinical observationp < .0011/7
Ray (2001) 167–10; M = 8.69 M, 7FCerebral palsy with mild to moderate spasticity and dysarthric speechOrofacial myofunctional treatment program that focused on oral sensory stimulation and exercises for lips, tongue, jaws, and cheeksParticipants received 25-min sessions (15 min of individual treatment and 10 min of group treatment) 5 times per week over 4 months. Additionally, parents implemented a home-based exercise program 4–5 times per day.Diadochokinetic rateNS2/7
Ray (2002) 12M = 74.7Not reportedSingle right hemisphere ischemic stroke and mild to moderate dysarthriaTreatment focused on oral sensory stimulation and strengthening exercises for lips, tongue, jaws, and cheeks.Participants received 45-min treatment sessions twice weekly for 2 months.Alternating motion rateNS2/7
Note. NS = not significant.
Note. NS = not significant.×
CitationNAge (years)GenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceQuality marker score
Daglio et al. (1993) 756–2222 M, 53 FFrontal open bite and lip/tongue dyskinesiaFunctional orofacial physiotherapyNot statedProportion of participants with lisp based on clinical observationp < .0011/7
Ray (2001) 167–10; M = 8.69 M, 7FCerebral palsy with mild to moderate spasticity and dysarthric speechOrofacial myofunctional treatment program that focused on oral sensory stimulation and exercises for lips, tongue, jaws, and cheeksParticipants received 25-min sessions (15 min of individual treatment and 10 min of group treatment) 5 times per week over 4 months. Additionally, parents implemented a home-based exercise program 4–5 times per day.Diadochokinetic rateNS2/7
Ray (2002) 12M = 74.7Not reportedSingle right hemisphere ischemic stroke and mild to moderate dysarthriaTreatment focused on oral sensory stimulation and strengthening exercises for lips, tongue, jaws, and cheeks.Participants received 45-min treatment sessions twice weekly for 2 months.Alternating motion rateNS2/7
Note. NS = not significant.
Note. NS = not significant.×
×
CitationNAge (years)GenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceQuality marker score
Fischer-Brandeis et al. (1987) 714–14; M = 1034 M, 37 FCerebral palsyRemovable stimulatory plates for orofacial regulation therapy. Approximately 1/3 of the participants also received oral and facial physiotherapy.Plates were worn for an average of 15 months (range = 6–36 months).Observation of labial, palatal, and dental sound productionNR0/7
Guisti Braislin and Cascella (2005) 46;4–6;9 (years;months); M = 6;62 M, 2 FMild functional articulation disorder of unknown originEasy Does It for Articulation: An Oral-Motor Approach (Strode & Chamberlain, 1997)Participants received 15 ½-hr small-group (n = 2) treatment sessions over 7 weeks.Number of errors on GFTANS4/7
Powers and Starr (1974) 48–113 M, 1 FPalatal cleft repaired before age 2 and mild to moderate nasalityTreatment consisted of 4 sets of exercises: blowing and sucking exercises targeting velar muscle activity, and swallowing and gagging exercises focusing on pharyngeal wall muscle activity.Exercises were performed 4 times per day, 5 days per week, for 6 weeks.9-point equal-appearing scale ranging from mild nasality (1) to severe nasality (9), immediate posttreatmentNS2/7
At 6-week follow-upNS
Ray (2003) 618–23; M = 204 M, 2 FAnterior open bite with front and lateral lisp; one participant described as having developmental verbal apraxiaOral motor treatment focusing on tongue resting postures and lip closure. Activities included holding a tongue depressor between lips and holding the tongue tip on alveolar ridge for 15 min per day.Participants received 1 45-min treatment session per week for 6 weeks plus additional home assignments.Percentage of single words, sentences, and connected speech with no phonemic or phonetic errors.NR2/7
Note. NR = not reported or calculable; GFTA = Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation (Goldman & Fristoe, 1972).
Note. NR = not reported or calculable; GFTA = Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation (Goldman & Fristoe, 1972).×
CitationNAge (years)GenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceQuality marker score
Fischer-Brandeis et al. (1987) 714–14; M = 1034 M, 37 FCerebral palsyRemovable stimulatory plates for orofacial regulation therapy. Approximately 1/3 of the participants also received oral and facial physiotherapy.Plates were worn for an average of 15 months (range = 6–36 months).Observation of labial, palatal, and dental sound productionNR0/7
Guisti Braislin and Cascella (2005) 46;4–6;9 (years;months); M = 6;62 M, 2 FMild functional articulation disorder of unknown originEasy Does It for Articulation: An Oral-Motor Approach (Strode & Chamberlain, 1997)Participants received 15 ½-hr small-group (n = 2) treatment sessions over 7 weeks.Number of errors on GFTANS4/7
Powers and Starr (1974) 48–113 M, 1 FPalatal cleft repaired before age 2 and mild to moderate nasalityTreatment consisted of 4 sets of exercises: blowing and sucking exercises targeting velar muscle activity, and swallowing and gagging exercises focusing on pharyngeal wall muscle activity.Exercises were performed 4 times per day, 5 days per week, for 6 weeks.9-point equal-appearing scale ranging from mild nasality (1) to severe nasality (9), immediate posttreatmentNS2/7
At 6-week follow-upNS
Ray (2003) 618–23; M = 204 M, 2 FAnterior open bite with front and lateral lisp; one participant described as having developmental verbal apraxiaOral motor treatment focusing on tongue resting postures and lip closure. Activities included holding a tongue depressor between lips and holding the tongue tip on alveolar ridge for 15 min per day.Participants received 1 45-min treatment session per week for 6 weeks plus additional home assignments.Percentage of single words, sentences, and connected speech with no phonemic or phonetic errors.NR2/7
Note. NR = not reported or calculable; GFTA = Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation (Goldman & Fristoe, 1972).
Note. NR = not reported or calculable; GFTA = Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation (Goldman & Fristoe, 1972).×
×
CitationNAge (years)GenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceQuality marker score
Jones et al. (2006) 1261 F4 years after severe traumatic brain injury with complex mixed dysarthria and Lance-Adams syndromeExpiratory muscle strength training—forceful exhalation against resistance until a set level of pressure is producedParticipant completed 25 trials per day; 1 time per week in clinic (5 trials; followed by 5–10 min of rest) and daily at home for 6 months.10 sentences, 14 words each, from the AIDS, administered posttreatment and at 3-month follow-up.NR2/7
Ray (2001) 167–10; M = 8.69 M, 7 FCerebral palsy with mild to moderate spasticity and dysarthric speechOrofacial myofunctional treatment program that focused on oral sensory stimulation and exercises for lips, tongue, jaws, and cheeksParticipants received 25-min sessions (15 min of individual treatment and 10 min of group treatment) 5 times per week over 4 months. Additionally, parents implemented a home-based exercise program 4–5 times per day.5-point intelligibility rating scalep = .00234/7
Ray (2002) 12M = 74.7NRSingle right hemisphere ischemic stroke and mild to moderate dysarthriaTreatment that focused on oral sensory stimulation and strengthening exercises for lips, tongue, jaws, and cheeksParticipants received 45-min treatment sessions twice weekly for 2 months.5-point intelligibility rating scale—single wordsp < .0013/7
Sentence and conversational speechNS
Note. AIDS = Assessment for Intelligibility of Dysarthric Speech (Yorkston & Beukelman, 1984).
Note. AIDS = Assessment for Intelligibility of Dysarthric Speech (Yorkston & Beukelman, 1984).×
CitationNAge (years)GenderMedical and/or SLP diagnosis as reported in articleInterventionTreatment schedule and amountOutcome measure(s)SignificanceQuality marker score
Jones et al. (2006) 1261 F4 years after severe traumatic brain injury with complex mixed dysarthria and Lance-Adams syndromeExpiratory muscle strength training—forceful exhalation against resistance until a set level of pressure is producedParticipant completed 25 trials per day; 1 time per week in clinic (5 trials; followed by 5–10 min of rest) and daily at home for 6 months.10 sentences, 14 words each, from the AIDS, administered posttreatment and at 3-month follow-up.NR2/7
Ray (2001) 167–10; M = 8.69 M, 7 FCerebral palsy with mild to moderate spasticity and dysarthric speechOrofacial myofunctional treatment program that focused on oral sensory stimulation and exercises for lips, tongue, jaws, and cheeksParticipants received 25-min sessions (15 min of individual treatment and 10 min of group treatment) 5 times per week over 4 months. Additionally, parents implemented a home-based exercise program 4–5 times per day.5-point intelligibility rating scalep = .00234/7
Ray (2002) 12M = 74.7NRSingle right hemisphere ischemic stroke and mild to moderate dysarthriaTreatment that focused on oral sensory stimulation and strengthening exercises for lips, tongue, jaws, and cheeksParticipants received 45-min treatment sessions twice weekly for 2 months.5-point intelligibility rating scale—single wordsp < .0013/7
Sentence and conversational speechNS
Note. AIDS = Assessment for Intelligibility of Dysarthric Speech (Yorkston & Beukelman, 1984).
Note. AIDS = Assessment for Intelligibility of Dysarthric Speech (Yorkston & Beukelman, 1984).×
×