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Promoting Psychosocial Adjustment in Individuals Born With Cleft Lip and/or Palate and Their Families: Current Clinical Practice in the United Kingdom

Stock, Nicola Marie; Zucchelli, Fabio; Hudson, Nichola; Kiff, James D.; Hammond, Vanessa


Nichola Hudson

James Kiff
Occasional Associate Lecturer - HAS HSS

Vanessa Hammond


© 2019, American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association. Objectives: The importance of psychosocial aspects of care has received growing recognition in recent years. However, the evidence base for psychosocial intervention remains limited. Specialist clinicians working in cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P) services hold a wealth of knowledge and experience yet to be elicited. The aims of this study were to identify common psychosocial challenges and potential risk and/or protective factors for psychosocial distress from the perspective of specialist clinicians and to establish the types of interventions currently being delivered in practice. Design: Individual interviews with 17 clinical nurse specialists and 19 specialist clinical psychologists, representing all 16 UK CL/P surgical sites. Data were analyzed using inductive content analysis. Results: Numerous psychosocial challenges affecting individuals with CL/P and their families were identified across the life span. Risk factors were predominantly contextual in nature, while protective factors appeared amenable to intervention. Participants drew upon a range of therapeutic models and approaches to guide formulation and intervention, while acknowledging the lack of evidence to support these approaches in CL/P populations specifically. Conclusions: Findings have important implications for the way in which psychosocial support for CL/P and related conditions is delivered and evaluated. A framework for the standardized assessment of holistic individual and familial well-being is proposed. Suggestions for increasing the evidence base for specific psychosocial interventions are made, including enhanced family functioning; social, emotional, and appearance concerns; treatment decision-making; and screening for psychosocial and developmental issues.


Stock, N. M., Zucchelli, F., Hudson, N., Kiff, J. D., & Hammond, V. (2020). Promoting Psychosocial Adjustment in Individuals Born With Cleft Lip and/or Palate and Their Families: Current Clinical Practice in the United Kingdom. Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal, 57(2), 186-197.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 18, 2019
Online Publication Date Aug 20, 2019
Publication Date Feb 1, 2020
Journal Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Print ISSN 1055-6656
Electronic ISSN 1545-1569
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 57
Issue 2
Pages 186-197
Keywords cleft lip and palate, chronic health conditions, risk and protective factors, psychosocial intervention, visible difference
Public URL
Additional Information Additional Information : © 2019. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications


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