A Multisite Study Investigating Child and Parent Proxy Reported Quality of Life in Children With Cleft Lip and/or Palate

Celia E. Heppner, Canice E. Crerand, Claudia Crilly Bellucci, Farah Sheikh, Suzanne Woodard, Meredith Albert, Amy L. Conrad, Kathleen A. Kapp-Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective : This observational, multisite cohort study explored health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in children with cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P), including interrater agreement and ratings for this group relative to clinical cutoff scores and published means for healthy and chronically ill children. Methods : Participants (338 children ages 8-10 years, 45.9% male and their parents, 82.0% female) across 6 sites completed the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Generic Core Scales (PedsQL). Results : Intraclass correlation revealed poor interrater agreement for most HRQoL domains. Although ratings were generally higher than those expected for children with a chronic illness, child ratings were below healthy means for school functioning, and parent proxy ratings were below healthy means for all domains except physical functioning. Lower ratings consistent with chronic illness means were found for self-reported emotional and psychosocial functioning in children with cleft lip and palate (CLP), as well as parent proxy-reported emotional, school, and psychosocial functioning for children with cleft palate (CP). Scores were most likely to be in the clinical range for children with CP for social, school, and total functioning. Conclusion : Although parent proxy report provides important information about observed functioning, poor interrater agreement indicates that both child and parent proxy reported HRQoL should be included in outcomes assessment for CL/P. HRQoL ratings may be higher for children with CL/P compared to youth with other chronic illnesses, but psychosocial functioning may be negatively impacted when compared with healthy youth, particularly for emotional, social, and school functioning in children with CLP or CP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • children
  • cleft lip and palate
  • parents
  • pediatric
  • proxy
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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