Objective assessment of speech after surgical treatment for oral cancer: Experience from 196 selected cases

G. Nicoletti, D.S. Soutar, M.S. Jackson, A.A. Wrench, G. Robertson, C. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


In 1992, a personal computer-based workstation for speech-digitized analysis was developed in conjunction with Canniesburn Hospital and Edinburgh University to measure all dispersion in speech after surgery for oral cancer. The voices of 196 patients with tumor of the oral cavity were recorded preoperatively and postoperatively. Surgical resection was carefully mapped out on standard diagrams of the oral cavity. Patients' recordings were assessed for conversational understandability by two referees. Patients also self-scored their speech using the Functional Intraoral Glasgow Scale self-questionnaire. Many patients had similar if not identical resections; therefore, 12 homogeneous groups were identified. Functional outcome for speech was correlated with the site and size of resected tissue and with the reconstruction modalities. The original association of an objective, computer-based tool and two subjective assessment tools proved to be the most suitable investigation method for speech. The general pattern was for consistently better speech quality with smaller excisions. The reconstruction modalities did not seem to influence the overall speech quality, as it was related mainly to the extent of surgical demolition. The authors present a detailed correlation between site and size of excision and functional outcome using color multiple-view diagrams for immediate appreciation. Positive and negative prognostic factors were identified in surgery for oral cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-125
Number of pages11
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


  • oropharyngeal cancer
  • partial glossectomy
  • intraoral cancer
  • surgery
  • tongue


Dive into the research topics of 'Objective assessment of speech after surgical treatment for oral cancer: Experience from 196 selected cases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this