Objectives: Research has identified adults born with cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P) to be at risk of poorer psychological outcomes compared to the general population. This study investigated factors that may contribute to positive and negative adjustment in adults born with CL/P. Design: A survey was designed and distributed by the Cleft Lip and Palate Association in collaboration with (University). There were 207 eligible responses (95% completed online) received between July and October 2018. Dependent variables included the Body Esteem Scale for Adolescents and Adults, Harter’s Self Perception Profile for Adults (Global Self-Worth, Social Competence, and Intimacy subscales), the Fear of Negative Appearance Evaluation Scale, and the Revised Adult Attachment Scale. Independent variables were the Revised Life Orientation Test, biodemographic data, and self-reported single-item questions. Results: Factors associated with positive adjustment included reports of a happy childhood, talking about CL/P with family, close friendships, comfort in public spaces, satisfaction with appearance, and a positive life orientation. Psychological distress was associated with a desire for further surgery to improve appearance and/or function. Conclusions: Several factors were identified that may influence psychological adjustment in adults with CL/P. Throughout childhood, family-centered practice to support family cohesion and an open dialogue about CL/P is indicated, as is support for young people to develop social confidence. For adults returning to the cleft service, treatment options for appearance and/or functional concerns should be explored, with access to psychological support when indicated. Interventions to increase optimism, resilience, and self-acceptance may also be warranted throughout the life span.
Costa, B., Ardouin, K., & Stock, N. M. (in press). Factors associated with psychological adjustment in adults with cleft lip and/or palate: Findings from a national survey in the United Kingdom. Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal, https://doi.org/10.1177/10556656211028494