-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Adults who were born with a
severe facial disfigurement have generally good psychological
adjustment, according to a small new study.
Dutch researches gave a set of psychological, physical and
demographic questionnaires to 59 adults, average age 34, who were
born with severe facial disfigurement caused by rare, extensive
facial cleft syndromes.
The same questionnaires were also completed by 59 adults with
facial disfigurement caused by traumatic injury and 120 adults with
The researchers found that those born with facial disfigurement
had "relatively normal" psychological functioning but they did tend
to have a higher rate of problems such as anxiety and depression
than those with no disfigurement.
However, adults born with facial disfigurement and those with
trauma-related facial disfigurement were no more likely to have a
clinical level of depression and anxiety than those without facial
Perhaps not surprisingly, those born with facial disfigurement
had lower rates of physical problems than those with trauma-related
facial disfigurement, the researchers said.
Among people born with severe facial disfigurement, problems
with psychological functioning were more common among those with
low self-esteem and those who were concerned about how others would
judge their appearance.
That finding is an important consideration for plastic and
reconstructive surgeons, the researchers said.
"Improving satisfaction with facial appearance (by surgery), enhancing self-esteem or lowering fear of negative appearance evaluation (by psychological support) may enhance long-term psychological functioning," concluded Dr. Sarah Versnel of Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, and colleagues in a journal news release.
The study appears in the January issue of the journal
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
The Children's Craniofacial Association has more about
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