Chulalongkorn Medical Journal


Background : Cleft lip and cleft palate (CL/P) are among the most common congenitalmalformations of the face. These facial deformities significantly impactthe mother, children, society and economy of the country. Studies haveshown that surgical correction can improve the patient’s appearance andfunctionality such as feeding and speech. However, there are limitedinformation pertaining to the quality of life (QOL) of the caregivers aftertheir children have received corrective surgery for cleft deformities andthe use of mobile surgical units to reach the hard-to-reach population.Objectives : To assess the quality of life (QOL) of the caregivers whose childrenreceived corrective surgery for CL/P offered through ‘The repair of cleftlip and cleft palate and other deformities project of the Thai Red CrossSociety utilizing the mobile unit technique.Methods : Forty-four caregivers of children who received corrective surgery for CL/Pwere recruited from 23 – 26 May 2016, and 27 - 30 June 2016. As forthe children, post –operative examinations were administered on week 2.As for the caregivers, the WHOQOL-BREF-THAI Questionnaire wasadministered at day 0 and month 3 after to assess their QOL.Results : A significant improvement was detected in all dimensions of the QOL:Overall quality of life and general health (80.9 8.3 pre-surgery;98.5 7.5 post-surgery; P <0.001), physical health (P <0.001), psychology(P <0.001), social relationships (P <0.001), and the environment (P <0.001).Conclusion : Surgical correction for CL/P in the children significantly improvesthe QOL of the caregivers but this is not enough to eradicate the causeof the condition. Additional techniques are needed in conjunction withthe corrective surgery such as education and mobile healthcare unitswhich, when used together, can reduce the prevalence and incidence ofCL/P.


Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University

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