Open Access Peer-reviewed Research Article

Impact of surgical repair on the patients' quality of life with cleft lip and palate in the DRC: A longitudinal study using the CLEFT-Q scale

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Médard Kakule Kabuyaya
Olivier Mukuku corresponding author
Ahuka Onalongombe
Eshete Mekonen
Todd M. Van Ye
Paul Millican
Stanis O. Wembonyama
Severin Uwonda Akinja


Introduction: Cleft lip and/or palate (CLP) are congenital anomalies that can have profound impacts on individuals’ lives, physically, emotionally and socially. In this context, patients’ quality of life (QoL) is of paramount importance to evaluate the effectiveness of surgical interventions and improve patient-centered care. The objective of this study was to evaluate the QoL of patients with CLP in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) before and after surgical repair, using the CLEFT-Q scale as a standardized measurement tool.
Methods: This longitudinal study was conducted between January and April 2024, involving 43 patients aged 8 to 29 years with CLP. The French version of the CLEFT-Q scale was utilized to evaluate various aspects of QoL both pre- and post-surgical intervention.
Results: the study revealed a significant enhancement in all facets of QoL assessed by the CLEFT-Q following surgical repair. Mean scores exhibited a statistically notable increase across all scales post-intervention. Furthermore, noticeable variations were noted among facial cleft types, indicating varying effects on QoL based on the particular cleft type.
Conclusion: This study underscores the significance of surgical repair in enhancing the QoL of individuals with CLP in the DRC. It also emphasizes the necessity of a personalized approach considering the distinct type of facial cleft to maximize treatment outcomes.

cleft lip and palate, quality of life, reconstructive surgery, CLEFT-Q, DRC

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How to Cite
Kabuyaya, M. K., Mukuku, O., Onalongombe, A., Mekonen, E., Van Ye, T. M., Millican, P., Wembonyama, S. O., & Akinja, S. U. (2024). Impact of surgical repair on the patients’ quality of life with cleft lip and palate in the DRC: A longitudinal study using the CLEFT-Q scale. Advances in Health and Behavior, 6, 275-280.


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