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British Researchers Begin Ambitious Project to Support Young Adults With Cleft Lip and/or Palate

The University of Bristol in Bristol, England, is embarking on a $2.5 million research program to delve into the lifelong impacts of cleft lip and/or palate, a condition affecting one in 700 births. The initiative, named Cleft@18-20, aims to investigate how factors such as ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, health literacy, and geographical location influence outcomes for young adults born with a cleft lip and/or palate. Despite the extensive support received during childhood, transitioning into adulthood presents challenges for individuals with cleft lip and/or palate. Limited information exists on the variation in outcomes among different groups. The research endeavors to fill this gap by conducting clinics across the United Kingdom’s 16 regional cleft centers to assess various aspects of young adults’ well-being, including appearance, speech, eating, hearing, and quality of life. The program comprises four key projects: evaluating young adults’ outcomes, gathering perspectives through interviews, defining benchmarks of successful cleft care, and developing a support tool for self-management. Central to the endeavor is the involvement of a diverse panel of young adults with cleft lip and/or palate, ensuring their voices shape the research process and the support mechanisms devised. Ultimately, the findings seek to inform tailored interventions to enhance the life quality and outcomes of individuals with cleft lip and/or palate as they transition into adulthood. Click here to read more. 
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