Awareness and Causal Beliefs on Cleft Lip and/or Palate: Perspectives from Filipino Parents and Caregivers

Ivan Paul M. Bondoc, Fernando Alejandro C. Ligot


Background: Cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P) is one of the common congenital anomalies in the Philippines. Identifying the causal beliefs of parents and caregivers on CL/P may impact treatment outcomes and help determine the potential need for information literacy on this condition.

Objective: This study determined preliminary data on the causal beliefs of Filipino parents and caregivers on CL/P, and explored factors that may have influenced these beliefs.

Method: Using convenience sampling, 84 parents and caregivers from two institutions that offer surgical, dental, and speech intervention for children with CL/P participated in a pilot survey.

Results: More than half of the participants expressed awareness of the condition by using the term cleft or equivalent terms in the native language to describe it. Most of them accurately identified biomedical explanations to CL/P, and attributed their knowledge of the explanations to the health professionals. The respondents' accurate identification of biomedical explanations was seen to be significantly associated with family history of clefting and with the individuals with whom they learned of the causes of CL/P. Only a few participants underwent prenatal consultations to determine potential birth defects (such as CL/P) in their children.

Conclusion: Findings imply an increased awareness of the biomedical explanations for CL/P among the
participants as explained by health professionals. Given the low number of participants who were aware of the condition prior to their children's birth, there may be a need to increase information dissemination and public health campaigns to encourage parents for prenatal consults in order to determine possible existence of birth defects such as CL/P.


etiology; health literacy; prenatal consults; causal attributions; cleft lip and/or palate

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Print ISSN: 2704-3517; Online ISSN: 2738-042X