Infants with variable combinations of clefts of the lip and palate are at risk for feeding difficulties, hearing loss, speech, and respiratory compromise due to upper airway obstruction. In addition to the impacts directly related to the presence of a cleft, infants also undergo a variety of treatments with cleft bottles, feeding plates, pre-surgical molding, as well as surgical lip and palate repair. These interventions can also impact overall health. Several consortiums are working to standardize outcome assessments for older children with orofacial clefts; however, little has been done to investigate outcomes related to cleft treatment in infants. The specific goal of this session is to review methods for identifying metrics for clinical research in cleft care and to explore the unique attributes and measurable outcomes in infants.
Participants will hear from several panelists from a variety of disciplines with experience conducting large, multicenter studies and quality improvement work. Panelists will describe the current and planned projects to collect standardized data in infants with orofacial clefts. The last portion of the session will include an interactive component with opportunities for discussion about the material presented.