Prevalence of speech disorder in school children from class one to class six in Offinso Municipality in Ashanti Region

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September, 2015
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The current research reports the prevalence of speech disorders in school children from class one to class six in the Offinso Municipality in Ashanti Region of Ghana. A cross-sectional research designed to recruit 900 respondents from 58 government primary schools in the municipality was used in the data collection. The aim of the study was to find out the occurrence of speech disorders among the sample population at a given point in time, which was then used to determine the prevalence of speech disorders in the municipality. The procedure adopted included training in the data collection process, teacher identification, screening tests, confirmation by speech pathologists and ENT doctors. Of the 900 respondents, 144 were diagnosed as having speech disorders with a prevalence of 0.16. There were more boys observed with speech disorders than girls. The arrangement of prevalence of speech disorders was significantly different according to gender. It was not possible to test the association of speech disorders by class level due to the small numbers in the majority of cells. There was an overall falling prevalence of speech disorders with class level. Of the 144 respondents diagnosed with speech disorders, the majority of the respondents 109 (representing 75.6%) had articulation disorders whiles the minority of the respondents, 7 (representing 4.8%) exhibited voice disorders. The frequent causes of speech disorders were vocal cords nodules and hearing impairment. These results have important inferences on the need of resource development for prevention and rehabilitation of speech disorders. Finally most of the findings are preventable if appropriate measures are taken.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology.
Speech disorder, Children