Health Policy

Maternal Reports of Satisfaction with Care and Outcomes for Children with Craniosynostosis

Wong-Gibbons, D.L.; Kancherla, V.; Romitti, P.A.; Tyler, M.C.; Damiano, P.C.; Druschel, C.M.; Robbins, J.M.; Kizelnik-Freilich, S.; Burnett, W.
2009 Jan


Craniosynostosis is a congenital deformity caused by premature fusion of cranial suture(s). Surgical outcomes of craniosynostosis have been well documented; however, limited published data are available regarding access to care and social and psychological health outcomes for children with craniosynostosis. The authors conducted a population-based, multistate study of maternal perceptions of care and outcomes for children with craniosynostosis born from January 1998 through December 2003.

Mothers of 147 children were contacted and asked to complete a structured telephone interview; 82 mothers (55.8%) participated. Overall, the mean ages of children and their mothers at the time of interview were 4.4 and 34.8 years, respectively. Mothers interviewed tended to be white and, at a minimum, high school graduates. Most mothers reported being satisfied with the craniosynostosis-related information and support provided by medical care providers, and access to primary and specialty care was most often rated as satisfactory.

Mothers tended to report the physical health of their child to be good; however, delays in cognitive and emotional development, hearing loss, and speech problems were identified. In addition, statistically significant differences among mothers in each state were noted for reports of the quality of team care, primary care, learning interventions, and perceived need for additional surgeries.

These results suggest some limitations in craniosynostosis-related care and provide guidance to medical and surgical care providers in making need-based improvements in craniosynostosis surgery and care. Future studies are recommended to replicate this evaluation in additional populations.