Type of Oral Cleft and Mothers' Perceptions of Care, Health Status, and Outcomes for Preadolescent Children
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the outcomes of care for children by type of oral cleft.
DESIGN: Data were collected through structured telephone interviews during 2003 in Iowa with mothers of two to twelve year-old children with oral clefts. Interviews with mothers of children with clubfoot and statewide data on Iowa children were used for comparison.
PARTICIPANTS: Participants included mothers of children in Iowa born between 1990 and 2000 with nonsyndromic oral clefts. Children were identified by the statewide Iowa Registry for Congenital and Inherited Disorders.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Rating of cleft care, severity of condition, health status, esthetic outcome, speech, and school performance were evaluated by type of oral cleft.
RESULTS: Children with cleft lip and palate were most likely to have their clefts rated as very severe. Children with palatal involvement were reported to have a lower health status and were almost twice as likely to be identified as having a special health care need compared with either children with cleft lip or children statewide. Children with cleft lip had more esthetic concerns; children with palatal involvement had the most speech concerns.
CONCLUSIONS: Although mothers generally believed their children had received high-quality care, ratings of the children's current health status and outcomes of care varied significantly by type of cleft (cleft lip, cleft palate, and cleft lip and palate). Differences observed in this population-based study support the proposition that cleft type should be considered when examining outcomes of care for children with oral clefts.