Retrospective Evaluation of Number of Surgeries and Parent Ratings of Academic and Behavioral Functioning Among Children With Isolated Oral Clefts

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate possible relationships between number of surgeries and parent ratings of academic functioning among children with isolated oral clefts. Design: Multicenter, retrospective cohort study including structured interviews, questionnaires, and chart reviews. Setting: Completion of questionnaires occurred during clinical visits at 6 different cleft centers across North America. Participants: Parents of 285 children with isolated clefts of the lip and/or palate, aged 8 to 10 years old, participated in structured interviews and completed questionnaires regarding the academic and behavioral functioning of their children. Main Outcome Measures: Parent interview and medical chart review of number of surgeries to date and parent ratings on the Adaptive Behavior Assessment System, Third Edition-Functional Academics Scale (ABAS-FA) and Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) Total Competency Scale. Results: Parent ratings of ABAS-FA were at or above normative expectations, while ratings across CBCL Competency Scales were lower than normative expectations. Socioeconomic status (SES), age, and race were consistent predictors of parent ratings (higher SES, older age, and Caucasian race were associated with better functioning). Number of surgeries did not add significantly to academic ratings but did significantly contribute to ratings of social and activity participation. Patients with more surgeries were rated with lower functioning in these domains. Conclusions: Findings do not support a connection between number of surgeries and later ratings of academic functioning but do support a connection to social and activity involvement. Recommendations for conducting direct studies of the connection between surgeries and academic functioning as well as clinical considerations for surgeries and impact on social and activity involvement are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1294-1303
Number of pages10
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • nonsyndromic clefting
  • parental perception
  • psychosocial adjustment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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