Comparative Effectiveness Studies Examining Patient-Reported Outcomes among Children with Cleft Lip and/or Palate: A Systematic Review

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Background:Health care policy makers are increasingly encouraging comparative effectiveness research. Little is known regarding comparative studies among children with cleft lip and/or palate. Cleft lip and/or palate profoundly influences self-perception and social functioning, and patient-reported outcomes provide a unique perspective on the success of reconstruction. The purpose of this study was to systematically review the literature regarding patient-reported outcomes among patients with cleft lip and/or palate.Methods:The authors reviewed articles from MEDLINE, Embase, and PsycInfo that examined the use of patient-reported outcome instruments for cleft lip and/or palate. Studies of patients with cleft lip and/or palate across any age that described the use of patient-completed measures in patient and control populations were included. A research librarian confirmed the search, and two independent, blinded reviewers performed full-text review.Results:The authors identified 1979 articles and selected 30 for inclusion. Forty-two different assessment tools were used to analyze factors such as self-esteem, behavior, and social support. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire was most commonly used (n = 7), followed by the Childhood Experience Questionnaire (n = 5), and the Satisfaction with Appearance survey (n = 4). Barriers to analysis included lack of standardization of survey administration, effect of publication bias, and variations in patient populations between individual studies.Conclusions:Comparative studies of patient-reported outcomes among patients with cleft lip and/or palate are infrequent. Many instruments exist to measure patient-reported outcomes in this population, but no specific standard exists. Identifying efficient and targeted forms of instrument selection and administration will enhance comparative studies among children with cleft lip and/or palate.CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:Diagnostic, III.

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