Psychosocial Outcomes in Orthognathic Surgery: A Review of the Literature


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Abstract

Objective:To identify and critically appraise the literature on the psychosocial outcomes of orthognathic surgery, reflect on the clinical and theoretical implications, and suggest avenues for future research.Design:A search of the literature was completed using the databases Web of Science, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO to identify English-language articles published since January 2001 that have reported a measure of psychosocial functioning posttreatment.Results:A total of 38 articles were eligible for inclusion in the review. The studies reported improvements in areas such as satisfaction with facial appearance, self-confidence, self-esteem, anxiety, and social functioning. Small percentages of patients were left dissatisfied or had difficulty adjusting to appearance change despite the absence of treatment complications. Gains in psychosocial functioning were maintained over several years, and satisfaction increased over time.Conclusions:There are consistent positive outcomes reported as a result of orthognathic surgery, but conclusions are limited by methodological issues in study design such as small sample sizes, limited use of control groups, and measures that fail to tap into relevant areas of psychosocial functioning. In addition, further exploration is required of processes such as adjustment to facial change and the role of psychological support during treatment.

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