Impact of Orofacial Dysfunction on the Quality of Life of Adult Patients With Cleft Lip and Palate

Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2018 Sep;55(8):1138-1144. doi: 10.1177/1055665618760897. Epub 2018 Mar 28.


Objective: This study assessed the prevalence of orofacial dysfunctions (ODs) and quality of life (QoL) in adults with and without a cleft lip and palate.

Design: Cross sectional.

Setting: Craniofacial Center, Hospital for Rehabilitation of Craniofacial Anomalies, Bauru, São Paulo, Brazil.

Methods: The study was composed of a sample of 120 patients: 60 adults in the cleft lip and palate group (CLPG) and 60 adults in the control group with no craniofacial anomalies. Each patient underwent an interview and clinical examination, using the Nordic Orofacial Test-Screening (NOT-S) and the 36-Item Short Form Survey. Data were analyzed using Mann-Whitney U test, χ2, and the Spearman correlation coefficients.

Results: There was a higher prevalence of OD in CLPG (P < .001) on the NOT-S. The adults in the CLPG had higher QoL in the areas of general health (P = .003), physical function (P = .014), social function (P < .001), and vitality (P = .006). The CLPG had significant associations between higher OD and lower QoL for general health (P = .004), emotional role function (P = .028), and vitality (P = .05).

Conclusion: Orofacial dysfunctions were more prevalent in adults with a cleft, negatively impacting their QoL in general health, emotional role function, and vitality. However, adults with a cleft also had significantly higher QoL, reflecting possible resiliency when compared to adults without a cleft.

Keywords: epidemiology; muscle function; quality of life.