Background:: Patient-reported quality-of-life outcomes in cleft lip-cleft palate treatment are critical for evidence-based care. Scant data exist analyzing treatment from the patient's perspective. The authors examined the interrelationship among variables associated with oral health-related quality of life among youth with cleft. Methods:: As part of an ongoing longitudinal study, clinical evaluations and research questionnaire packets were completed before surgical recommendations were made (baseline). Participants completed the Child Oral Health Impact Profile, a validated oral health-related quality-of-life measure for children with cleft. During the baseline clinical evaluations, plastic surgeons determined whether surgical interventions were recommended within the year (expert determination represents a greater degree of current clinical need). General linear models incorporating surgical recommendation, gender, and age were fit for each subscale of and for the total Child Oral Health Impact Profile. Significant interaction terms were evaluated for their effect on the subscale. Results:: Baseline assessments were obtained from 1200 participants (mean, 11.8 years; 57 percent male). Participants with a surgical recommendation had lower quality of life on all but the self-esteem subscale compared with those without a surgical recommendation (p < 0.002). Two subscales had statistically significant age-sex interactions (p < 0.003), whereas another subscale had a statistically significant surgery by sex interaction term (p = 0.027). Conclusions:: Overall, youth for whom surgery is currently recommended had lower oral health-related quality-of-life scores on the Child Oral Health Impact Profile Total scale than those with no surgical recommendation; older female subjects had lower quality-of-life scores than male subjects.
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