Master of Occupational Therapy Student Critically Appraised Topics

Faculty Advisor

Pamela Lewis-Kipkulei, PhD, OTD, OTR/L

Community Practitioner

Heather Clabo, OTR/L, BCP, C/NDT



Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 6-17-2023


Orofacial clefts are the second most common type of birth defect in the United States and are continuing to grow each year (Nasreddine et al., 2021). Based on the National Birth Defects Prevention Network annual report in 2014, 1 in 1,700 babies were born in the United States with a cleft palate (Mai CT et al., 2019). While there are different types of orofacial clefts, for this research the term cleft palate will be used to determine appropriate interventions within the scope of occupational therapy, such as positioning, bottle modifications, and sensorimotor techniques. The impact of this birth defect can cause feeding challenges, auditory deficits, speech deficits, and oral-motor development which may require extensive support from caregivers, nurses, physicians, and therapists, among others (Redford-Badwal et al., 2003; Nahai FR, et al., 2005). Based on our findings, we recommend supine positioning during sleeping and side-lying with caution. Our feeding recommendations include oral stimulation, sensorimotor-based feeding techniques, as well as bottle modifications such as squeezable bottles, rigid bottles, larger nipple holes, and paladai feeding.

R_25GDTGuDj1qgEIm_FINAL .pdf (27120 kB)
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