© The Author(s) 2017. Objective: To date, research investigating the psychological impact of craniofacial conditions has produced variability across outcomes. The aims of this article were to summarize the challenges that may contribute to this variability, and to offer alternative perspectives and approaches to guide future research and practice. Design: A comprehensive evaluation of papers exploring adjustment to congenital craniofacial conditions was conducted. Methodological approaches and underlying conceptual issues were identified and summarized. Results: The conceptual limitations identified include inherent challenges pertaining to the multifactorial and fluctuating nature of adjustment, a lack of consensus regarding the primary constituents of a positive outcome, scant use of appropriate models and theories, and a predominant focus on “deficits” over “strengths.” The methodological shortcomings identified include a lack of representative samples, biomedical inclusion/exclusion criteria, inconsistency in measurement, a relative absence of the patient perspective, variability in approaches to data analysis and interpretation, and the failure to draw on knowledge from other disciplines and related fields of health research. Findings are believed to be relevant to all disciplines involved in craniofacial research and practice. Conclusions: Existing literature remains markedly affected by a range of conceptual and methodological challenges, despite these challenges being identified 25 years ago. The present article proposes that a shift in the way we conceptualize and study craniofacial conditions is needed, in order to construct a comprehensive understanding of adjustment to craniofacial conditions, and to address the key unanswered questions important to all stakeholders.
Stock, N. M., Feragen, K. B., Moss, T. P., & Rumsey, N. (2018). Toward a conceptual and methodological shift in craniofacial research. Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal, 55(1), 105-111. https://doi.org/10.1177/1055665617721925