Examination of a theoretical model for oral health-related quality of life among youths with cleft

Hillary L. Broder, Maureen Wilson-Genderson, Lacey Sischo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives. We evaluated relationships among physical and psychological indicators and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQOL) in youths with cleft. Methods. We recruited youths aged 7 to 18 years with cleft palate (n = 282) or cleft lip and palate (n = 918) and their caregivers into a 5-year observational investigation at 6 US treatment centers from 2009 to 2011. At baseline, youths completed surveys to assess psychological status. After clinical evaluation, 433 youths received a recommendation for surgery. We developed structural models from the baseline data incorporating age, gender, race, and cleft diagnosis to examine direct relationships between depressive symptoms and, in separate models, self-concept and sense of mastery and OHRQOL. Subsequent models examined the possible mediating effect of surgical recommendation. Results. Depressive symptoms were negatively and self-concept and selfefficacy were positively associated with OHRQOL. Surgical recommendation appeared to mediate the effect of psychological well-being, but not depression, on OHRQOL, even after adjustment for cleft diagnosis. In some models, individuallevel characteristics were significant. Conclusions. Path analyses support the theoretical model and underscore the importance of examining positive psychosocial characteristics such as resiliency and self-concept in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-871
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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