Objective: The purpose of this study was to improve the psychological care of young patients with cleft lip and palate by gaining insight into those problematic areas in which social conflicts arise and coping-strategies become necessary for the patients.
Methods: The procedure included semi-standardized interviews with 20 patients aged between 12 - 17 and their mothers. Every interview was recorded on tape, transcribed, analyzed contextually and categorized.
Results: Four areas of main problems showed up: the time of surgery, the experience of being rejected or teased by peers, remaining visible defects and how to integrate them into self-percept, the problems of the siblings. The mothers showed more pessimistic perceptions regarding the coping strategies of their children and the helpful role of parental support. Consequences for individual support and family therapy are derived.