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Research on Psychosocial Considerations in Patients and Families Affected by Craniofacial Deformities Presented at National Medical Conference
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: 01 May 2021
FAIRFAX—On the first Saturday of May, the findings from a review of published research evaluating the impact of craniofacial deformities on the psychosocial health of patients and their families was presented by Mikaela I Poling at the Christian Medical and Dental Association National Convention (CMDA), held virtually this year due to the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Poling is Dr Craig R Dufresne’s Research Assistant. Dufresne, a Washington, DC area plastic surgeon in private practice, has written extensively about craniofacial deformities and is considered to be one of the leading experts in the world, having cared for affected patients since the mid-1980s.
Many patients with facial deformities are treated less favorably than healthy individuals, which may affect patients psychosocially. As part of the clinical practice guideline development, Dufresne and Poling reviewed published research to explore the (1) indirect or direct influence of non-intellectually impairing craniofacial malformation conditions on the psychosocial functioning of patients and families and (2) functional outcomes (educational, occupational, quality of life, etc.) of that influence. They discovered most research found more mood symptoms (depression, anxiety), poor social life, and worse functional outcomes in craniofacially deformed children and their parents than for healthy children. While craniofacial deformities had a negative impact on most individuals and families, they found evidence that other factors (eg, emotional state of and bonding with the mother, social support, finding meaning in life, helping others, and faith) are also very significant in overcoming challenges.
In 2019, Poling presented their study on free dermal fat autografting for complex craniofacial wounds at CMDA’s National Convention and the Northeastern Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting, and in the same year, Dufresne presented their research at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting, the premier conference for plastic surgeons in the world.
For Dufresne, writing about rare conditions is all about educating people—scientists, physicians, care teams, family members, and patients—in order to improve patients’ chances for a healthy, normal, and productive life. An ever-humble gentleman, publishing medical articles is his way to help many more patients than he ever could directly.
Craig R Dufresne, MD, PC, with offices in Fairfax, Virginia and Chevy Chase, Maryland, is a premier private solo practice providing aesthetic and reconstructive surgery care to adults and children from across the globe. Research supports the mission to provide safe, exceptional, innovative, and compassionate care that enhances overall well-being and health.