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.