Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2023, American Cleft Palate Craniofacial Association.Objective: (1) To compare anxiety between parents of newborns with cleft lip and palate (CLP), isolated cleft palate (CP), and healthy newborns and (2) to evaluate anxiety between parental dyads within these groups. Design: A cross-sectional study. Setting: University Hospital. Participants: Surveys were completed by 20 mothers and 20 fathers of newborns with CLP, 21 mothers and 21 fathers of newborns with CP, and 23 mothers and 23 fathers of healthy newborns (controls). Main Outcome Measure: The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) assessed parental anxiety. Mothers of newborns with a cleft reported on concerns regarding cleft-related issues and facial appearance. Results: State and trait anxiety were generally in the moderate range for parents of newborns with a cleft, while control parents had low state anxiety and moderate trait anxiety. Mothers of newborns with CP and CLP had significantly higher state and trait anxiety levels than control mothers (p <.05). Fathers of newborns with CLP had a higher state anxiety level than control fathers. When maternal and paternal anxiety was compared within the groups, only trait anxiety scores were significantly higher in mothers of newborns with CLP than that of fathers (p <.05). More than half of mothers of newborns with a cleft were concerned about their newborn's feeding, speech, and palate. Conclusions: Parents of children with a cleft may need psychological support in the early postnatal period. It is important for neonatal cleft team providers to help reduce parental anxiety and educate families about cleft care, with a focus on feeding.