Children's voices are being increasingly acknowledged in health care research. The aim of this study was to explore children's and young people's perspectives of being born with a cleft lip and/or palate.Design:
The research took a qualitative approach that consisted of two interviews with each child, drawing on child-centered methodologies and techniques. The initial interview focused on children's general life stories, and these often encompassed a discussion about cleft lip and/or palate. The follow-up interview explored specific aspects of the condition and related treatment.Participants:
The self-selected sample consisted of 17 children and young people (eight boys, nine girls) with cleft lip and/or palate, aged 8 to 17 years, who received treatment at a dental hospital in the U.K.Results:
Children's and young people's accounts identified a number of themes including how they became aware that they had been born with the condition, their views of the treatment pathway, and how it related to who they are.Conclusions:
This study highlights the value of including young people's perspectives in oral health-related research. It has allowed a deeper insight into cleft lip and palate and shows that young people can contribute their views and experiences about services which demonstrate that these could be incorporated into service evaluations.