Examining the Psychosocial Needs of Adolescents With Craniofacial Conditions: A Mixed-Methods Approach

Eric Riklin, Dominique Calandrillo, Aileen Blitz, Dina Zuckerberg, Rachel A. Annunziato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine, for intervention development, the psychosocial needs of adolescents diagnosed with a craniofacial condition who attended focus group sessions. Design: A mixed-methods design combining qualitative focus groups with quantitative measures. Setting: An outpatient clinic at a major medical center in Manhattan, New York. Participants: Fourteen adolescents, aged 14 to 18, with craniofacial conditions. Main Measures: Participants completed measures assessing a range of psychological constructs. Average scores were compared to clinical cutoff scores and normative data for adolescents. The 2 focus groups were coded using an inductive approach to assess pertinent themes. Additionally, the acceptability and feasibility of a proposed intervention was measured. Results: Adolescents with craniofacial conditions were within normal ranges for quality of life, self-esteem, and body image and they reported higher resiliency. They were above cutoff scores for perceived stress and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and below cutoff scores for mindfulness. When compared to normative samples, they displayed higher perceived social support, but lower coping. Based on qualitative analyses, 6 themes emerged: stress, bullying, coping, resiliency, mindfulness, and social support. Both qualitative and quantitative analyses revealed most participants were supportive of a future intervention for this population. Conclusions: The present study identified several factors associated with psychological well-being of adolescents with craniofacial diagnoses and demonstrates the importance of creating interventions to target specific psychosocial needs. Findings from this study may guide researchers in developing and refining a specific program for this population and provide information to help those with craniofacial conditions who are experiencing psychosocial challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-185
Number of pages9
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • pediatrics
  • psychological assessment
  • psychosocial adjustment
  • quality of life
  • social support


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