Background: For children with cleft lip and/or palate, access to care is vital for optimizing speech, appearance, and psychosocial outcomes. The authors posited that inadequate access to care negatively impacts outcomes in this population. Methods: Sixty caregivers of children with cleft lip and palate were surveyed to assess perceived barriers using the validated Barriers to Care questionnaire. The questionnaire includes 39 items divided into five subscales, with higher scores indicating fewer barriers. Caregiver-reported outcomes were assessed using the Cleft Evaluation Profile, which captures cleft-specific appearanceand speech-related outcomes. Higher scores correspond to less satisfactory outcomes. Desire for revision surgery was assessed as a binary outcome among caregivers. Multivariable regression was used to evaluate the relationship of barriers to care, caregiver-reported outcomes, and desire for revision, adjusting for clinical and demographic covariates. Results: Sixty percent of caregivers perceived barriers to care, and caregivers who reported poorer access to care described poorer cleft-related outcomes (r2 = 0.19, p = 0.024). Caregivers with poorer skills (r2 = 0.17, p = 0.037), expectations (r2 = 0.17, p = 0.045), and pragmatics (r2 = 0.18, p = 0.026) subscale scores were associated with worse Cleft Evaluation Profile scores. Barriers were also negatively associated with aesthetic item scores (r2 = 0.11, p = 0.025). Finally, caregivers reporting fewer barriers were 21.2 percent less likely to express interest in revision surgery. Conclusions: Barriers to care were associated with poorer appearance-related outcomes and increased interest in revision among caregivers of cleft patients. Enhancing access to care is critical in order to effectively meet goals of care for these families.
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