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The Impact of a Parent Liaison at a Major Craniofacial Center

Sweeney, Diana AS*; Paliga, James Thomas BA; Reid, Russell R. MD, PhD; Shay, Paul L. BA§; Goldstein, Jesse A. MD; Bartlett, Scott P. MD; Whitaker, Linton A. MD; Taylor, Jesse Adam MD

Journal of Craniofacial Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e3182a24674
Original Articles
Abstract

Abstract: The psychosocial impact of craniofacial disfigurement affects both the developing child and his/her family. The Facial Reconstruction Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has employed a Parent Liaison (PL) to provide psychosocial support to families and has been an invaluable resource in this regard. We hypothesize that a PL impacts the overall outcome of the surgery by building trust between the parents and medical institution, and increasing satisfaction. An anonymous satisfaction survey was sent to families of craniofacial patients treated between January 1976 and June 2012. All patients who had undergone at least 1 craniofacial procedure had addresses on file and were included in this study. Statistical analyses were performed using the Mann-Whitney U test.

During the study, 441 surveys were mailed to families meeting the inclusion criteria. A total of 151 families returned completed surveys (34.2%), and 121 surveys were included for analysis (27.4%). In rating overall satisfaction, families who met with the PL had statistically higher scores than those who had not (P = 0.0011). Parents who met with the PL preoperatively reported greater satisfaction in time spent answering questions (P = 0.0029) and the perception that questions were adequately answered (P = 0.0039). No statistical difference was observed in postoperative preparedness between families that did and did not meet the PL. The results demonstrate that the PL is beneficial in the education, experience, and satisfaction of families treated at a large Craniofacial Center. The PL complements the surgeon’s treatment of the physical by adding psychosocial support.

Author Information

From the *Division of Plastic Surgery, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; †Division of Plastic Surgery, The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; ‡Section of Plastic Surgery, University of Chicago Medicine, Comer Children’s Hospital, Chicago, Illinois; and §The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Received March 16, 2013.

Accepted for publication June 22, 2013.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Jesse Adam Taylor, The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Colket Translational Research Building, 3501 Civic Center Blvd. 9th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19104; E-mail: Taylorj5@email.chop.edu

Presentation History: The data included in this manuscript have not been previously presented.

Institutional Review Board: This study was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Financial Support: Funded by the Center for Human Appearance, the Department of Surgery of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Authorship Participation and Contributions

D.S.: Data analysis, data interpretation, manuscript preparation

J.T.P.: Data analysis, data interpretation, manuscript preparation

R.R.R.: Data analysis, data interpretation, manuscript preparation

P.L.S.: Data analysis, data interpretation, manuscript preparation

J.A.G.: Data analysis, data interpretation, manuscript preparation

S.P.B.: Data interpretation, manuscript preparation

L.A.W.: Data interpretation, manuscript preparation

J.A.T.: Study conception, data analysis, data interpretation, manuscript preparation

© 2013 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.