Considerable Variation in Outcomes for Cleft Lip/Palate

Outcomes result from environmental and biological factor interaction; vary by developmental stage

FRIDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- There is considerable variation in the neuropsychological, behavioral, and academic outcomes of individuals with cleft lip and palate, as the outcomes are affected by developmental level, sex, and cleft type, according to a study published in the July issue of The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal.

Lynn C. Richman, Ph.D., and colleagues from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, reviewed the behavioral, neuropsychological, and academic outcomes of individuals with cleft palate across infancy and early development; school age; and adolescence and early adulthood.

The researchers found that the outcomes associated with attachment; neurocognitive functioning; academic performance and learning; and adjustment resulted from a complex interplay between environmental and biological factors. These outcomes varied with developmental level, gender, and craniofacial anomaly diagnosis. Outcomes included behavioral inhibition and reduced self-confidence in adolescence; language deficits; and reading and other learning problems.

"Overall, research suggests that the outcomes addressed in the current paper can vary substantially depending on age and developmental level," the authors write. "Research also suggests that findings in the area of orofacial clefting are a function of complex interactions among numerous variables, including not only age but also gender and cleft type."

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