This article discusses the measurement of outcomes in craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgery, using examples of craniosynostosis and cleft lip and/or palate (CLP). The challenges in measuring the standard outcomes of function, aesthetics, and health-related quality of life are discussed, along with the importance of developing evidence and studying quality improvement in this specialty. The need to define specific and comprehensive goals is discussed with a focus on patient-reported outcomes (PROs). Examples from the development of the CLEFT-Q, a PRO instrument for patients with CLP, are provided to support the need to seek the patient perspective.
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