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Background and Objective: The constructed models could provide both for the abstract and risible (concrete) concepts. They are therefore a great asset when working with patients in that they allow the physician to show the patient on the model the area of concern (e.g., the hollow or void left by cleft lip/palate) and how the procedure will correct the problem. Importantly, patients do not have to rely on their imagination what the doctor is describing because they can see it. Importantly, the use of models (a) ensures that the process of informed consent is comprehensive and truly informative (b) takes the focus off the patient so that he/she (and their care-givers) can look at, and think objectively about, the procedure and (c) provides a realistic for use in mass media advertisements for public education and fundraising. In other words, in media, the multidisciplinary team can speak rather clinically about the model and the procedures needing to be accomplished without offending or violating a patient.
Methods: The original model is of the head and face model. The area of the mouth is removable so it is possible to insert the model clefts and the stages of surgical correction. In so doing, it possible to show pre- and post treatment effects. After developing the face models, they were evaluated by five nurses, each of whom had 1 or more years of experience working with cleft lip/palate patients and 12 patients parents. After the assessment, the models were thereafter improved and/or adjusted.
Results: Face models were created with two interchangeable mouth pieces showing remediation of the stages of cleft disease. The evaluations revealed an overall high level of satisfaction but the color of the model regarding the post-surgical scar was not realistic enough (i.e., only medium satisfaction).
Conclusions: A face model showing cleft/left palate was developed for use by medical professionals for teaching patients and their caregivers and educating the public about the disease and its treatment. Evaluation of the model revealed an overall high level of satisfaction but it was suggested that the color of the model and the post-surgical scar be more accurately portrayed.
Keywords: Medical Innovation, Face Model, Cleft Lip-Cleft Palate
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