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The impact of participation in genetic research for families with cleft lip with and without cleft palate: a qualitative study.

Authors
  • Donoghue, Lynley J
  • Sahhar, Margaret A
  • Savarirayan, Ravi
  • Raj, Supriya
  • Kilpatrick, Nicky M
  • Forrest, Laura E
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of community genetics
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2014
Volume
5
Issue
3
Pages
249–256
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s12687-014-0183-3
PMID: 24500770
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Despite being the most common congenital facial anomaly, little is understood about the genetic contribution to isolated clefts of the lip with or without cleft palate (CL/P). 'OzCleft', a family-based genotype/phenotype study, is investigating this further. Participation for families involves various clinical investigations of the child with the cleft, and their unaffected sibling(s) and parents. Informal feedback from individuals involved in OzCleft suggested that participation in this research programme had benefits for families. Taking a qualitative approach, this study sought to investigate this hypothesis further. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with nine parents who had participated in OzCleft. All parents described participation as a positive experience for themselves and their families. Perceived benefits included a greater appreciation of the cleft treatment experience by unaffected family members. Being involved in a genetic study raised issues for parents regarding the cause of clefting in their child. While some parents found the possibility of a genetic component reassuring, it also raised questions about the potential implications for future generations. Parents were largely unsure about how to communicate this information to their children and the predictive value of this information. This study suggests a lack of genetic understanding and/or perceived value of genetic information by parents of children with CL/P that, in turn, highlights the need for increased support from genetic health professionals in this area.

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