Development of the Submental Nasal Appearance Scale for the Assessment of Repaired Unilateral Complete Cleft Lip: A Pilot Study

Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2019 Jul;56(6):791-798. doi: 10.1177/1055665618811507. Epub 2018 Nov 21.


Objective: To develop the "Submental Nasal Appearance Scale" (SNAS), which is an easy-to-use objectified tool to represent a cleft surgeon's standard for assessment of the nasal appearance from the submental perspective.

Design: Eighty-five photographs of patients with unilateral complete cleft lip and palate were selected and cropped, displaying the submental view. Sixty-one photographs were used to develop 5 sets of reference photographs. Three cleft surgeons graded 24 photographs with these sets and subjectively graded the overall nasal appearance as well. Internal agreement for both methods was calculated, as well as correlation between them. The SNAS was created, by only using the combination of sets that showed the highest reliability and correlation.

Setting: Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Patients: Six- to 9-year-old patients with unilateral complete cleft lip and palate.

Results: The intrarater and interrater reliability was 0.84 and 0.79, respectively, for the SNAS and 0.76 and 0.62, respectively, for the overall appearance assessment. The correlation was 0.74 between the methods.

Conclusions: The SNAS is a reliable tool that reflects a cleft surgeon's standard and could be used independently or in combination with existing rating scales using the frontal and/or lateral view, for assessment after cleft lip repair.

Keywords: basal view; cleft lip and palate; nasal appearance; photographic evaluation; scoring system.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cleft Lip*
  • Cleft Palate*
  • Esthetics, Dental
  • Humans
  • Nose
  • Photography
  • Pilot Projects
  • Reproducibility of Results