Psychological Experiences of Parents having a Child with Cleft Lip and Palate
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Abstract:-Cleft Lip and Palate (CLP) is one of the most common congenital craniofacial conditions globally. Parents’ who are having Children with CLP are facing various types of experiences. A qualitative study was conducted to explore the parent’s psychological experiences of having a child with CLP. Twenty parents who take care of children with CLP more than three months were purposively recruited for this phenomenological study. The study was conducted at Dental Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya and ethical approval was obtained from the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Peradeniya. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and data analysis was done using thematic analysis method. Three major themes were emerged from the data as excessive sorrow, fear towards the surgery and coping with the child’s birth defect. Not having the child that parents expected to have, low body weight of the child and sadness towards child’s future with CLP were perceived as reasons for excessive sorrow. Probable complication of the surgery and lack of knowledge regarding the surgery were reasons for fear towards the surgery. Follow up treatments and family supports were helped parents to coping with the child’s birth defect. These main negative adverse experiences and drawbacks help to understand several hidden unpleasant experiences of parents having a child with CLP. Hence, it is needed to ensure the importance of arranging social support services for these parents which are one of the neglected areas within the health care context of Sri Lanka.