A comparative analysis of oropharyngeal functions in preterm and term children with cerebral palsy

Kemer S. N., Serel-Arslan S.

Early Human Development, vol.190, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 190
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2024.105964
  • Journal Name: Early Human Development
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Cerebral palsy, Chewing, Feeding behaviors, Preterm, Swallowing, Term
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


This study aims to compare term and preterm children with Cerebral Palsy (CP) in terms of their oropharyngeal functions. A total of 50 children with CP participated in the study, and were divided into two groups according to their birth history including preterm group (gestational age below 37 weeks; 60 % female; mean age = 6.86 ± 4.35 years) and term group (gestational age between 37 and 41 weeks; 60 % female; mean age = 6.48 ± 4.86 years). Chewing and swallowing functions were evaluated in terms of oropharyngeal functions. Chewing evaluation was performed by using the Karaduman Chewing Performance Scale (KCPS) and the Turkish version of the Mastication Observation and Evaluation Instrument (T-MOE). The pediatric version of the Eating Assessment Tool (PEDI-EAT-10) was used to evaluate swallowing performance of children. In addition, the Behavioral Pediatric Feeding Assessment Scale (BPFAS) was used to assess feeding behaviors of children. There were significant differences between groups in terms of KCPS (p = 0.03), T-MOE (p = 0.01), and PEDI-EAT-10 scores (p = 0.04). There was a significant difference between groups in terms of the parental frequency score from the BPFAS (p = 0.04). Oropharyngeal functions of preterm children with CP were more adversely affected than term children with CP. Clinicians working with children with CP should be aware of the risks of preterm birth on oropharyngeal functions, and take precautions for oropharyngeal dysfunction in the early period in preterm children with CP.