Patient satisfaction with a maxillary obturator has been studied in relation to extent of surgical defect, sociodemographic characteristics, scores on mental health inventories, and psychosocial adjustment to illness scales. However, review of the literature reveals limited study of the relationship between patient satisfaction with an obturator and clinical speech outcome measures. The purpose of this study is to relate patient satisfaction scores obtained by questionnaire with those obtained by means of clinical speech measurements.
Acoustical, aeromechanical, and perceptual measurements of speech were collected for 20 patients after receiving a definitive obturator. Patient satisfaction with their obturator was later measured with the Obturator Functioning Scale (OFS).
Results reveal that poorer aeromechanical speech results were associated with patient-reported avoidance of social events, whereas lower speech intelligibility outcomes were related to overall poorer perception of speech function on the OFS. Several background patient characteristics were significantly related to several responses on the OFS and to the aeromechanical assessment outcomes.
Results from instrumental assessments of speech seem to be informative regarding not only speech outcome but also a patient's satisfaction with the obturator. Consideration of background patient characteristics is important when interpreting both clinically obtained and patient-perceived outcomes. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head and Neck 25: 000–000, 2003