J Med Assoc Thai 2011; 94 (12):33

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Cost Effectiveness of Speech Camps for Children with Cleft Palate in Thailand
Prathanee B Mail

Most mobile cleft lip and palate (CLP) surgical units and international missions developing countries generally address surgical issues that reduce the physical abnormalities of the people. Stigmatization persists as speech therapy for most patients is delayed (or they get none at all) due to a shortage of speech and language pathologists. Objective: To estimate cost effectiveness of speech camps.
Material and Method: The 4-day speech camp and 1-day follow-up session were established based on the Community-Based Model for Speech Disorders for Children with Cleft Lip/Palate. Twelve children with CLP (age ranged 3 years 6 months-13 years) attended a 4-day speech camp and a 1-day follow-up session (6 months later) for remediation of their articulation disorders. Estimation of both the expense and duration for both speech camp and follow-up session were compared to those for getting speech services from the nearest speech center.
Results: Both a 4-day speech camp and a 1-day follow-up session significantly reduced the number of articulation defects. The average combined cost of a speech camp and the follow-up session was 13,623.04 baht/child (or $US 412.82/child at an exchange rate of 33 baht = $US 1) and spent only 6 months. For getting speech services from speech center, cost would be 129,112.08 baht/child ($US 3,912.49) and spend approximately 4-5 years to get the same number of speech services as received speech camp and 1-day follow-up session. This represents a savings of more than a million baht (~ 1,386,252.46 or $US 42,007) over against the cost of providing speech therapy over a longer period in a hospital setting for 12 children. Moreover, children with CLP had no longer compensatory articulation defects that cause complicated speech problems and difficult solving.
Conclusion: Speech camp and follow-up session provided cost effectiveness for problem-solving in the case of lack of speech services for children with CLP in Thailand.
Keywords: Cost effectiveness, Speech camp, Cleft palate, Community-Based Model

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