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Mar/Apr 2016

Standard Outcome Measures in Facial ParalysisGetting on the Same Page

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston
JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2016;18(2):85-86. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2015.2095

Clinicians caring for patients with facial paralysis (FP) are universally interested in improving outcomes by developing and/or embracing treatment approaches that advance functional recovery, improve aesthetic outcome, and/or restore nonverbal communication ability. In facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, increasing emphasis on outcomes1 has driven the development of myriad assays to measure the effects of therapy. Some assays have been statistically validated and tested for internal consistency, applying varying degrees of rigor, though many remain inadequately tested. Because of the high complexity and broad range of deficits that patients diagnosed with FP experience, agreement regarding standard outcomes measures has been particularly elusive. In the current era, agreement regarding these measures is critical to advancing care. Deep experience with the condition over the past several decades has permitted leaders to begin to agree on certain elements essential to progress in FP treatment.2

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