Measuring quality of life in cleft lip and palate patients: Currently available patient-reported outcomes measures

Donna A. Eckstein, Rebecca L. Wu, Takintope Akinbiyi, Lester Silver, Peter J. Taub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Background: Patient-reported outcomes in cleft lip and palate treatment are critical for patient care. Traditional surgical outcomes focused on objective measures, such as photographs, anatomic measurements, morbidity, and mortality. Although these remain important, they leave many questions unanswered. Surveys that include aesthetics, speech, functionality, self-image, and quality of life provide more thorough outcomes assessment. It is vital that reliable, valid, and comprehensive questionnaires are available to craniofacial surgeons. MethodS: The authors performed a literature review to identify questionnaires validated in cleft lip and palate patients. Qualifying instruments were assessed for adherence to guidelines for development and validation by the scientific advisory committee and for content. Results: The authors identified 44 measures used in cleft lip and palate studies. After 15 ad hoc questionnaires, eight generic instruments, 11 psychiatric instruments, and one non-English language questionnaire were excluded, nine measures remained. Of these, four were never validated in the cleft population. Analysis revealed one craniofacial-specific measure (Youth Quality of Life-Facial Differences), two voice-related measures (Patient Voice-Related Quality of Life and Cleft Audit Protocol for Speech-Augmented), and two oral health-related measures (Child Oral Health Impact Profile and Child Oral Health Quality of Life). The Youth Quality of Life-Facial Differences, Child Oral Health Impact Profile, and Child Oral Health Quality of Life questionnaires were sufficiently validated. None was created specifically for clefts, resulting in content limitations. Conclusions: There is a lack of comprehensive, valid, and reliable questionnaires for cleft lip and palate surgery. For thorough assessment of satisfaction, further research to develop and validate cleft lip and palate surgery-specific instruments is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518e-526e
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Measuring quality of life in cleft lip and palate patients: Currently available patient-reported outcomes measures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this