Survey of parent experiences in prenatal visits for infants with cleft lip and palate

Matthew R. Greives, Casey L. Anderson, Riley A. Dean, Michelle L. Scerbo, Irene L. Doringo, Michael W. Bebbington, John F. Teichgraeber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to identify the factors that influence the parent's choice of cleft team/surgeon. Design: A 10-question survey was used to elucidate factors that influenced parents in choosing their cleft surgeon. No identifiers of the origin of the study were used to improve parent objectivity. Setting: The setting for this study was an online survey. Participants: Participants in this study were the parents of children who were born with cleft lip and/or palate. Interventions: Parents were contacted anonymously via national, established social media websites that were independently run by the parents themselves. Main Outcome Measures: The main outcome measures were information regarding choice of cleft team/surgeon, source of patient referrals, and use of online media in decision making. Results: A total of 112 responses were received. Of the parents, 77% sought prenatal evaluation with at least one cleft surgeon. Maternal-fetal medicine specialists were the most frequent (42%) referral source, followed by primary obstetricians (14%) and pediatricians (12%). The surgeon/cleft team's experience level and overall personality were ranked as the most important, whereas the least important was distance traveled. Of the parents, 95% used the Internet or social media for research prior to their prenatal visit; 96% of the parents found the prenatal visit helpful, and the most useful topics discussed were treatments (surgical, nonsurgical) and feeding techniques. Conclusion: This study identifies factors used to choose a cleft team/surgeon. Parents are more concerned with the experience level, reputation, and environment of the cleft team/surgeon than the distance traveled to get to the center.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-673
Number of pages6
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Cleft lip
  • Cleft palate
  • Prenatal visit


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